Kim Swan: Sell St. George’s As “Exotic Port”

April 22, 2014

[Updated with slideshow] Former St. George’s MP Kim Swan said St. George’s is “reminded of what it like to be busy once again” due to the arrival of a cruise ship, adding that since there are “limited smaller ships that only call into exotic ports,” we should market St. George’s in such a manner.

The Silver Spirit cruise ship arrived in St. George’s today [Apr 22] carrying an estimated 523 passengers and 370 crew. One of the island’s occasional callers, the 642ft ship is scheduled to stop in Bermuda again in November.

It is one of two occasional callers in Bermuda today, with the Regatta presently docked in Hamilton.

Update: Slideshow of the Silver Spirit docked in St. George’s today:

The east end generally does not have many cruise ship visits as the larger ships cannot navigate though the area. This year’s cruise ship schedule [PDF] indicates that St. George’s will have five cruise ship visits; four this month and one in October.

Government has previously said that ships more than 680’ long and 94’ wide, depending on handling characteristics, generally cannot safely navigate through Town Cut in St. George’s.

“The analysis revealed there are 165 cruise ships currently in operation that are available to serve the North American and European markets. Of that total, 139 are too large to transit Town Cut in St. George’s, leaving only 26 that can successfully transit Town Cut,” the Transport Ministry said back in 2011.

Mr. Swan said, “For a few days this week the Town of St. George is reminded of what it like to be busy once again. Ironically, because a smaller boutique style cruise ship navigated through the Town Cut with approximately 500 passengers plus their crew. An added bonus for them that this voyage coincided with the pomp and pageantry of the Peppercorn Ceremony.

“It was reported that there are limited smaller ships that only call into exotic ports. Such is the case today with the arrival of the Silver Spirit which made its way to our exotic and ancient seaport.”

The 440ft 73-guest cabin Windstar docked in St. Georges last year:

windstar cruise at night

Mr. Swan added, “Bermuda cannot roll over and play dead, we must aggressively sell the Town of St. George to a shipping company as the exotic port.

“The city they choose – Boston for example – becomes the city that the Tourism Authority partners with the cruise line to promote Bermuda and guarantee that a full load is achieved. The promotion will be a “win win” especially if the objective is to attract new visitors from the New England region.

“The cruise line can promote the Town of St. George as an exotic destination with all of our rich history and our connection to Jamestown and our unique place in the establishment of the USA.

“The Town of St. George is an exotic port with historical significance. Personally, I feel with the proper approach and the will to partner with a cruise line to aggressively promote the Town of St. George as an exotic destination Bermuda Tourism Authority can stand a good chance attracting a contract that lures boutique cruise ship to our exotic cruise port – The Town of St. George – a maritime jewel in the Mid Atlantic.

The Seven Seas Navigator in St. George’s in 2011:

“If the Bermuda Tourism Authority officials can convince by a cruise line to dedicate a ship to the Town of St. George – as the premium exotic port that it is – the results would be immediate and a five year contract for 2016 to 2020 would change the commercial fortunes for the Town of St. George, while capital focus is placed on the restoration of the St. George Golf Course and the realization of a Boutique Hotel,” concluded Mr. Swan.

The One Bermuda Alliance’s 2012 pre-election “St George’s & St David’s Recovery Plan” cited securing a cruise ship for St. George’s as one of their objectives.

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  1. Hamilton Welcomes Second Cruise Ship Of 2014 | Bernews.com | April 22, 2014
  1. Chuckle says:

    As usual he misses the point that he needs to help make St Geo exotic for that marketing campaign to work.

    • Redo says:

      Exactly. St. Geo is far from exotic so that would be false advertising, which i believe is illegal…as well as unethical. That would be like us trying to sell Bermuda as So Much More…oh, wait…

      • Jiggs Bda says:

        Bermuda is a lot more exotic than you realize… with the little bays and tranquil setting. So i don’t agree that it is a stretch to call it exotic.

        Every thing that is suggested in Bermuda is poo-pooed as unworkable or some other such ridiculous conclusion.

        We are all responsible for our success and the sooner the negative ones come on board the quicker we will become successful.

      • Will says:

        of course it is exotic..the only place you can be murdered by your cousin on a golf course or be raped and murdered by random thugs acting the Good Samaritan.

      • Robert says:

        You must not be bermudian !!!! So negative about our little island home………very sad !!!

      • Moojun says:

        Redo: please would you give us your definition of exotic? For me it is friendly locals, a warm embracing breeze, quaint cobbled streets with a plethora of history on every street corner, framed by azure waters and palm trees, blue skies, impregnable sea fortresses born of a long forgotten era of privateering and Colonial adventurism, along with a litany of visits by historic Dignitaries from both past and recent memory. That is my exotic experience of St. Georges, and I have to say, I LOVE St. Geo! It gives me all of that.

        If your definition is simply “skimpy bikinis and cheap tequila”, then that’s fine, but let’s hear why you think St.George’s isn’t exotic?

    • Elmersglue says:

      Now I see what one of the reasons was for disbanding the UBP, with Swan at the helm it was inevitably going to fail!

    • Robert says:

      At least he is trying !!

  2. somuchless says:

    Swany great comments but remember the smaller vessels do not call on one port every week. Cruise lines with smaller ships usually visit all over the world with many doing world cruises or sailing to different areas.

  3. Smallish says:

    Whatever the view of Kim and these comments, you can’t doubt his committment to the town. It’s a lesson for any MP, particularly given that he is no longer in that role.

  4. swing voter says:

    best thing for the Town is to emulate a 17th century village, dress retirees in clothing from that era and create attractions that will amuse tourists through-out the day along water street and in the square.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Exactly. Tourists gobble up that stuff too. It should be really twinned with Jamestown and recreate what they have done in certain parts of that town.

      The Govt would do good to find investors who could invest in this kind of attraction. Another thing….that old NASA building down at Southside?…..that should have been a science or astrological museum ages ago.

    • Terry says:

      We did that.
      Ewart took it away.
      Irony.

  5. Miguelito says:

    St. George’s is, indeed, an important (even exotic) port of call. A very interesting and beautiful old town, complete with its own unique history evident in the still mostly original architecture. I live in Bermuda, but regularly visit St. George’s for this reason. I love the place.

  6. Swing voter has it why not chaperones for groups with all sought after experiences bespoken at first meeting..guides of two male and female to pick themup and take them or meet them …where it is decided the experience …of the moment would be and what is expected….entertainment is key…steel drums full time during season.seriously…..how much would it cost…try it for three seasons.

  7. CLEAN OUT THE PIPE THAT LEADS FROM GREAT BAY TO THE HEAD ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ST. DAVIDS CRICKET FIELD.It should be done periodically…at some point sluices should be built at either side made to present large volume to smaller pipe to increase speed and generating strength…place a hydro electrict impellor or two on the length of pipe somewhere inbetween and a room for battery storage, l.e.d. light the playing field and havegames at night…and other functions…

  8. The people of St. Georges could indeed where period dress,(small sacrifice),store owners at least…any and all buisiness es sg
    Hould be made to be modern …but with old ambience…like the printers or doll maker…or library…etcbook shop…wood flooring…cobble…open cielings with beams and collar ties rough …counters wooden…then indians could dress in native clothing….couple flour bag shirts…..everyone etnicly dressed….africans with native dress….we have piercings becoming in vougue again …why not a few piercings instead of shiny things use bones!Chicken bones…ham hocks etc…,your gonna need a few pirates…and privateers…British soldiers etc…watch black sails on stars!

  9. MilkShake says:

    so what is EXOTIC about St Georges. Tell me that and I may believe, but as best I see there is nothing exotic about it or for that matter Bermuda. Exotic tome might be like the rain forest of Costa Rica, or a Safariu in Africa. We are no more than a warm weather,EXPENSIVE tourist trap.

    • Bermy says:

      Exotic does not have to only mean jungles, pyrimads, huge mountains or the such. We have an exotic and colorful history which needs to be cashed in on. This can be fond in a classy way do as not at odds with what the modern tourist/traveller. Also I have said for going on 10 years ( I am only 32) why doesn’t St. George’s market itself as a Monaco of the Atlantic (especially with recent changes in legislature) and build a marina for the yachts and a boutique hotel/ resort on the hill where the big whole and new trash dump is. I know this costs crazy money but the investors are out there lets just stop being so slow and backwards.

  10. nuffin but the truth says:

    and when the silver spirit leaves it will be a ghost town again.

  11. Kindley says:

    I love St. George’s. It is my favorite part of the island to visit. I have been posting for a few years that it is truly the crown jewel of Bermuda. Since the cruise schedule has been set, the shop owners need to keep there doors open for business, not just when they feel like being open or closed.

    For the visitors who fly to Bermuda, I suggest you open the golf course, have rental chairs, etc. at Fort St. Catherine and possibly a beach shuttle available for visitors who are renting private rentals. Mr. Swan has a good idea…why not support him in his endeavor to market St. George’s.

    As I said I love St. George’s and intend to return as often as possible.

  12. MAKE MY DAY says:

    Kim Swan needs to look-up the meaning of the word *Exotic* in the dictionary!!!