Norwegian CRUISE LINE TO PROVIDE FERRY SERVICE
Posted on 09/02/2016
Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to provide two 250-passenger catamarans to ferry cruise ship guests arriving at Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard facility to St. George’s. The benefits of this service are many, including providing local employment and reducing the burden on the public ferry and transportation systems.
Bill Hanbury is the chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA). He said Norwegian is advertising in Bermuda for a local operator with “in-depth knowledge of the marine industry” to operate the ferries on behalf of the cruise line.
This move is expected to provide employment for up to ten people and cost between $3 million and $4 million each.Hanbury said “We have a brilliant ferry system which is a huge asset and we put a lot of value on it, but this will accommodate Norwegian’s passengers specifically between two destinations which are a very big part of the Bermuda tourist product.”
He added, “This is a positive thing. This is an investment we could not make on our own. They may help us, particularly when they have very high demand periods, with some lifts, which will accommodate other visitors, but this is predominantly for NCL passengers, who sometimes struggle between Dockyard and St George’s.
Michael Fahy, the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Municipalities said “While it is expected to provide between six and ten new jobs for Bermudians to operate the tender service, it may also breathe new life into the town of St George.“Increased vibrancy for the Olde Towne should create jobs in restaurants, retail stores, at the beaches and at various east end attractions.“We also expect an increased number of fares for taxis and minibuses as a result."In May, Norwegian announced an agreement with Bermuda’s government to host 12 cruise ship calls targeting St. George’s between 2017 and 2022.
Norwegian also agreed to invest $150,000 annually to “enhance the cruise visitor experience in the town.”