ms Veendam
ms Veendam

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16: Premier Dr. Ewart Brown this afternoon confirmed that a cruise ship that was due to dock in St George's next year is too big to get through Town Cut.

The Bermuda Sun revealed this morning how simulation tests on the ms Veendam showed she could not sail into St George's Harbour as she would hit the sea bottom.

The cruise liner will now have to drop anchor out at sea at Murray's Anchorage and passengers will be ferried into the town.

In a statement released this afternoon, Dr. Brown said: "We had hoped the Veendam would be able to navigate Town Cut and dock in St. George's in 2010, however simulations have shown this will not be possible.

"This situation illustrates the challenge we have in regards to St. George's."

He added: "Although the Veendam will not physically dock in St. George's in 2010, the tendering arrangement will still provide their guests with a St. George's experience during their stay in Bermuda.

"It is often the case that cruise passengers who tender rather than dock stay longer in the destination, including having lunch and participate in activities.

"This also shows our commitment to keeping a cruise ship presence in St. George's."

The Ministry of Tourism and Transport will implement a ferry service on Tuesdays from Murray's Anchorage.

The Veendam will continue to Hamilton on Wednesdays as currently scheduled, and will depart Bermuda on Fridays.

The cruise ship is scheduled to make 24 cruises to Bermuda in 2010 and will contribute an estimated $7 million to Bermuda's economy.

The ferrying from Murray's Anchorage will be weather permitting.