NCL: St George’s Cruises, New Ferries & More

May 11, 2016

[Updated with video] Earlier today [May 11] Premier Michael Dunkley announced several initiatives as a result of the Government’s renewed agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line, with the cruise line agreeing to provide a minimum of 12 cruise calls to St George’s per year from 2017 to 2022, as well as support other initiatives such as commissioning two new ferries.

Joined by Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Colin Murphy, SVP Destination and Strategic Development, Premier Dunkley announced NCL’s commitment to the commissioning of two new ferries, the injection of funds to enhance the cruise visitor experience, and dedicated cruise calls to St. George’s.

Premier Bermuda May 11 2016

The Premier noted that NCL is one of the Island’s “longest serving cruise partners”. And he stressed that with a competitive cruise, ever changing cruise industry, Bermuda must nurture and maintain its stakeholder partnerships if the Island’s tourism industry is to be a success.

Premier Dunkley said, “We recognise that the global cruise industry is an ever evolving one and for many visitor markets, like Bermuda, it is a key economic contributor. We understand that in the face of increasing competition from other visitor markets, as a destination, we too must adapt to the current industry trends or risk being left behind.

“Bermuda understands and appreciates the value of partners such as NCL Holdings and in that spirit of partnership I am pleased to announce that the Bermuda Government and NCL have extended our partnership through 2022.”

Over these next several years NCL will undertake a series of initiatives as part of the agreement.

The Premier continued, “St. George’s occupies a unique pride of place as part of Bermuda’s heritage. In recent years, regrettably, the Old Towne has not seen the type of visitor influx that was once common place.

“But my colleagues and I have worked incredibly hard to ensure that St. George’s becomes a premier visitor attraction once again. Our commitment to St. George’s is evidenced by our success in securing a hotel development on the site of the old Club Med.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has agreed to provide a minimum of 12 cruise calls to the historic town per year from 2017 to 2022. We believe that this will aid greatly in the revitalization of St. George’s.”

The Premier also said another highlight of the agreement is commissioning of two new ferries. He explained that in consultation with the Department of Marine and Ports Services NCL will commission the construction of two ferries and meetings have already commenced to expedite construction and delivery of the vessels.

Premier Dunkley concluded, “There are other great highlights regarding our agreement, but one last aspect deserves particular note – and that is the commitment of NCL to provide $150,000 per year for initiatives to improve the cruise guest experience in concert with the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“This takes effect immediately and runs through the contract through 2022.

“Today’s announcement is good for Bermuda and is an excellent demonstration that if individuals, groups or organizations who want the best for Bermuda can come together in the spirit of partnership and cooperation, great things can happen.

“I want to take this opportunity to extend my thanks and appreciation to Frank Del Rio, Colin Murphy and the entire NCL family not only for their willingness to collaborate, but for their continued confidence in Bermuda.”

Update 5.58pm:
We asked the Government if Bermuda provided anything in return for this agreement, and a spokesperson said, “The 12 cruise calls provide additional berthing rights for the cruise line through 2022. That is considered a benefit for NCL regarding this agreement.”

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Comments (35)

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  1. Ronnie Viera says:

    It is unfortunate that good news rarely receives positive comment. This is great for St George’s and Bermuda.

    • hmmm says:

      Why is it when the OBA has “Good News” they only place certain Ministers at the front lines to look good? On the other hand, when it’s bad news they place Minister Fahy at the front lines all by himself to take the heat in the kitchen.

      Specifically when we know everything that’s decided is and will always be, a Cabinet decision. POLITICS! Every group has a sacrificial lamb.

      • Think again says:

        I was wondering why Nandi Outerbridge and Kenneth Bascome the area MP didn’t get a invite. Maybe the Milk Man will share some milk with Kenny and make him a Minister in the next few weeks.

    • Toleratate says:

      Who could dislike news like this? It benefits us ALL. Be some businesses interested in setting up in St. Georges. Really happy for the Old Town.
      Great news…..

    • Hey says:

      Well done OBA! Truly the people’s party.

  2. St. Joe says:

    Well done OBA!

    Not only are they getting cruise calls back into the Old Towne but NCL is even building TWO new ferries.

    Couple that with the new hotel development, St. Georges might finally be back on the map and not neglected like it was for years.

    • St. Joe says:

      Hahaha.

      In less than 2 minutes the dislikes when from 0 to 16.

      Alaska Hall is busy today.

      The fact that anyone can dislike this development is the true anti-Bermudian as your hatred of such good news only exemplifies your partisan zealousness.

      So the question remains why does the PLP hate St. Georges so much?

      Once again, well done OBA!

    • CLAP CLAP says:

      So in a 6 year time frame 2017 – 2022 St. Geo will get 2 ships a year that stay for 3 days. WOW!!!!!!!!!!

      • CLAP CLAP says:

        opps 12 ships a year

        • Read the article again :-(
          “…my colleagues and I have worked incredibly hard to ensure that St. George’s becomes a premier visitor attraction once again. Our commitment to St. George’s is evidenced by our success in securing a hotel development on the site of the old Club Med.
          “Today, I am pleased to announce that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has agreed to provide a minimum of 12 cruise calls to the historic town per year from 2017 to 2022. We believe that this will aid greatly in the revitalization of St. George’s.”

      • sialar says:

        12 cruises PER year, not 12 cruises in 6 years. Stop trying to be so negative. I thought cruises ships in St. George’s is what we all wanted, and now that it looks like regular cruises will be returning for the immediate future, people seem to have a problem with this. Mindboggling!

    • St. Georges Resident says:

      Repair the Swing Bridge…boat cruises can better service St. Georges, ferries services will be expedited. Why is this still outstanding? The parish has been landlocked for over 2 years now.

      • idiot says:

        When did ferries ever go through swing bridge anyway?

  3. Lois Frederick says:

    Excellent work by all.

  4. Well done BDA GVT says:

    The green shoots are sprouting and things are beginning to look much brighter. Tourism finaly looks like it is beginning to breath again. Well done to all in the sector getting Bermuda back on the map!

    As Bermudians we need to make sure that our visitors experience the best of Bermuda and want to return.

    Time to work together.

  5. San George says:

    New hotel and the bridge is on the way. Two seats for the OBA. About time St. George got some Quid Pro Quo. West End has been owned by the PLP for 25 years and they get all that money. C’mon man!

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    GREAT JOB OBA! Looks good for St. Georges too!

  7. frank says:

    about the swing why has the the government not but the baily bridge over at stokes point.this would make it easier to work on the swing bridge

  8. Concerned says:

    Craig send a crew over to St. David’s to clean up and out the derelict buildings and trash in the Battery Area, please.

  9. WOW! says:

    Great news! Thanks to everyone who made this happen!

  10. archy says:

    On the face of it, sounds like excellent news, especially for St Gs. Two things – who is paying what for the new ferries and what is the quid pro quo here?

    • archy says:

      Seriously, I’m not putting a dampner on this, it really is good news, but I’d like an idea at least of what the Govt is giving in return, it is kind of important?

      • Not exactly says:

        NCL secured berthing rights until 2022. Article was updated.

  11. RBEL says:

    This is not only good news for St. George’s but Bermuda as a whole. But questions must be asked:

    1) what are NCL Holdings getting out of this deal? I can’t see them commissioning two new ferries for us and pledging $150,000.00 per year for the next six years for free. As Minister Richard has recently stated nothing is done for free.

    2) how many NCL cruise ships will be docking in dockyard during this agreement?

    3) was the last agreement signed in 2007 fully kept?

    I hope that the Government will make the signed agreement available to the public.

    • lateral says:

      PATI request? NCL quite possibly have a exclusivity agreement with St Georges.

      I wonder if those ferries will be available for use by RCL passengers as well?

      • Either way, it’s a win-win for Bermuda and it’s people…especially them that live / do business in the East end…R.C.A. will possibly compromise and go elsewhere i.e. City Hamilton our capital :-)

  12. Kevin says:

    2 years of hard work by the BTA and the OBA is starting to bear fruit. Tourism is being handled by a professionally run organization with real goals and is success driven. St. George’s and Hamilton should never have lost the ships that they had but just like a garden if you don’t look after it and give it the attention it needs it will die off.Unfortunately that is what happened with the former Dept of Tourism.It will be a welcome sight to see the old Towne come back to life.

  13. Smiths says:

    …they probably got exclusive in the port in return.

    • Bus Off says:

      Where does it say that? And even if they did, exclusive access to a port that nobody had any interest in before is all of a sudden a problem?

  14. wahoo says:

    This is what we the people voted for. C’mon Mr. Crockwell jump back in.

  15. george says:

    awesome news for the OBA the country and our people another undoing of the previous fiasco

  16. Oh Dear says:

    All sounds encouraging but unless NOW emphasis is placed upon the infrastructure, the clean up and the removal of over fifty derelict buildings within the St. George’s Parish- then all these efforts to reignite St. George’s and the businesses will, have been in vain and
    a waste of time.

  17. Vote for Me says:

    Excellent news for St. George’s and Bermuda.

    Based on the level of investment by NCL – $150k per year, plus 2 new ferries – we can only imagine how profitable cruises to Bermuda are for the cruise ship owners.

  18. Roger says:

    NCL will provide 2 ferries to be used for the Dockyard to ST. Georges run, will this mean that NCL passengers who are in port at Dockyard will be able to travel round trip to ST George by just showing their NCL passenger ID.
    It is a common practice that Cruise lines have ferries to tender their passengers from the Ship to their smaller islands when moored off shore.

    This will no doubt be a selling point by NCL when competing for cruise passengers travelling to Bermuda.

    Just being cautious to what may be in the details of this agreement.

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