Ministry: 2012 Cruise Ship Schedule

December 7, 2011

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.


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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Comments (4)

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  1. 32n64w says:

    Yet again the PLP Government obfuscate and twist the facts to suit their (half truths) story. Rather than provide a comparative of recurring cruise providers lets see a comparative of ALL past & expected cruise passengers.

    In addition they now try to cover up the fact Carnival’s decision to leave was totally unexpected citing “contractual obligations”. These are code/buzz words for a cover-up of incompetence. Even the Minister of Transport was clueless when Carnival made the announcement:

    ““We were surprised to only learn of the cancellations on Wednesday. This has put us in a unfortunate position for next year, because it will be difficult to find suitable replacement ships at such a late date.”

    PLP – Doing less with more and more of your tax dollars since 1998

  2. Fred Swartz says:

    As a taxi driver I can tell you the ‘Dawn’ and the ‘Gem’ are modest ships – the only money to be made off those ships is for the Gov’t, ie: 2 & 3 day bus passes and pink bus sightseeing tours. While taxi drivers stand around and watch 3,000 passengers walk by. Imagine, our own Gov’t competing with taxis! And now endless new minivans are licensed taking away more taxi business (thanks Ewart). Gas has doubled in price since our last rate increase, so have parts & repairs! It’s dead out there now, it’ll get worse in Jan and Feb! A lot of drivers are gonna lose their taxis to the banks again this winter.

  3. Guest Who? says:–bermuda-cruise-slowdown-could-mean-trouble

    Read this article from todays Toronto Star for the truth !!!

    More spin.
    Do the PLP think we are that stupid to believe their feeble excuses.

  4. Shaking the Head says:

    The MoT no doubt wishes to put the best statistics forwrad, but in truth the 309,105 quoted above, if correct, is the number of potential visitors. This assumes that each cruise is 100% sold out, and there is no disruption to any of the scheduled visits. How many actual passengers, not including crew, did visit in 2011? 274,083 or another number?
    Let’s all also hope that the infrastructure can cope better in 2012 than 2011. If Bermuda couldn’t handle the visitors in 2011, how will it handle more in 2012? Has the MoT ordered another 30 or so new buses? New ferries?