Yesterday [Dec.6] the Ministry of Transport released a statement in reference to the 2012 cruise ship schedule, and said the “current projections indicates that 2012 will record the second highest number of cruise visitors in history.”
The statement said that in 2012 the number of regular calls will be 140, the same as 2011, and that the number of occasional caller for 2012 will be 22, as opposed to 40 in 2011.
The Ministry of Transport also addressed what they termed “misinformation which circulated” about Carnival Cruise Lines decision to cancel 11 of the 12 previously approved cruise calls for 2012.
The full statement follows below:
Today in response to numerous media queries regarding the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announcement of its number of calls to Bermuda, the Ministry of Transport released the following.
The Ministry is pleased to highlight that 2011 is on pace to see a record number of cruise visitors to the Island.
And current projections indicate that 2012 will record the second highest number of cruise visitors in history. It should also be noted that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) will be increasing their number of cruises to the Island considerably.
Looking forward to 2012 the number of regular calls will be 140 – the same as 2011. However, the number of visits by the regular callers RCCL, Celebrity and NCL will increase significantly. Note the below grid:
The regular calls to Bermuda by RCCL, Celebrity and NCL remain bullish on the Bermuda cruise market, so much so they have dramatically increased the number of calls and visitors to the Island year-over-year.
The number of occasional caller for 2012 will be 22 as opposed to 40 in 2011.
The primary difference is the reduced number of Carnival Cruise Line calls. The number of occasional calls varies from year-to-year and is based on variables such as the strength of the European market.
Many of the occasional callers are repositioning to/from Europe. For 2012 Bermuda will receive visits from Aida Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Azamara. Most of these brands have been here on occasion.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE CLARIFICATION
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport moved to clarify misinformation which circulated in the wake of Carnival Cruise Lines’ decision to scale back calls to Bermuda.
While Carnival’s decision has resulted in a reduced number of cruise visitors for 2012, it is critical to clearly put into the proper context for the public and the media why Carnival’s 2012 numbers will be less than 2011.
First and foremost, Carnival’s decision was not based on the Bermuda product, but the lack of prime berths being available for their deployment requests.
Due to contractual obligations with RCCL, Celebrity and NCL, prime berths are not usually available for occasional callers wishing to arrive in Bermuda on Mondays – Friday, May – Labour Day. These are the times when cruise lines introduce higher ticket prices because it aligns with school breaks in the US, Canada and Europe.
RCCL, Celebrity and NCL occupy these prime berths on a weekly basis, making it difficult to accommodate all of the requests the Ministry receives from other cruise lines.
In respect to Carnival, five of their 16 cruises in 2011 occurred in April and eight after Labour Day. Furthermore, seven of Carnival cruises in 2011 were weekends. These are not considered peak days for berthing. Carnival’s request for 2012 would have followed a similar berthing pattern, with only a few cruises arriving during the peak days and months.
As a result, Carnival came to the conclusion that they could generate more profits going elsewhere rather than sailing to Bermuda at the less profitable dates and times.
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