BTA: Projected 10% Increase In Cruise Visitors

July 16, 2015

“The Bermuda tourism economy will benefit from a projected 10% increase in cruise visitors next year bringing in a total projected economic impact for the country of $91 million,” the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport and the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] said jointly today.

“A sharp increase in occasional calls is partly driving the 12% increase in projected economic impact because Bermuda’s occasional callers are almost exclusively smaller ships. Typically passengers on smaller ships, on average, spend more in port when compared to passengers travelling on larger cruise ships,” the statement said.


“Over the past two years we have experienced a significant increase in cruise arrivals and are pleased that this trend will continue into 2016,” said Shawn Crockwell, Minister of Tourism Development & Transport. “Most importantly our strategy to find the right demographic of cruise vacationers is showing results. We are attracting the cruise lines, and therefore passengers, who will have the biggest impact on the local economy.”

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury said: “We strategically targeted the premium/luxury brands over many months and are extremely pleased all the hard work paid off with 15 additional occasional calls in 2016, a significant 43% increase. That’s going to go a long way toward building on the tourism economy growth we have begun to realise in 2015.”

“The preliminary 2016 Cruise Ship Schedule projects 100 regular cruise calls, with an additional 50 occasional callers, bringing a total of 150 cruise calls for 2016. In 2015, there are 135 scheduled cruise calls,” the statement continued.

“Approximately 407,000 cruise visitors are anticipated for 2016, compared to 370,000 for 2015. In 2014, there were 356,000 cruise visitor arrivals.

“Projections for 2016 forecast a 12% increase in economic impact [$91m] as a result of a 10% increase in cruise visitors. In 2015, $81 million in economic impact was projected in a combined total of government taxes, cruise passenger expenditure and crew member expenditure.

“Businesses in small ports like Hamilton and St. George are expected to realise the greatest benefit in 2016 because they will see the sharpest percentage increase in number of calls when compared to the year before. Hamilton cruise calls will go up 20% [from 15 to 18] in 2016 and St. George cruise calls will go up 150% [from 2 to 5].”

“We can grow the St. George number even more if Town Cut is widened,” said Mr. Hanbury “but that’s a decision we leave in the hands of east end residents and their elected officials.”

Highlights of the 2016 Cruise Ship Schedule include:

  • Holland America Line will return to Bermuda with five cruises in 2016, four on the Veendam from Boston and one on the Prisendam;
  •  Aida Cruises, a German-speaking line, will return to Bermuda with six cruises in 2016;
  •   The luxury line Regent Seven Seas Cruises will deploy three cruises to the island;
  •   The premium line Oceania Cruises will make seven calls to Bermuda;
  •   The luxury brand Silversea Cruises will make two cruises calls to Bermuda in 2016;
  •   The luxury line Crystal Cruises will return to the island with one call on the Crystal Symphony;
  •   Princess Cruises will be returning to Bermuda with four calls;
  •   Carnival Cruise Line will make ten calls to Bermuda;
  •   The new cruise brand Viking Cruises has scheduled one call to Bermuda, pending the completion of a simulation exercise to ensure the ship can dock in Hamilton;
  •   Also calling in Bermuda in 2016 will be P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Saga Cruise, Swan Hellenic, Thomson Cruises and Fred Olsen Line.

“In addition to the occasional callers, Royal Caribbean will be introducing their newly built Anthem of the Seas to Bermuda in 2016. “Royal Caribbean’s introduction of the larger and newer Anthem of the Seas and Norwegian Cruise Line’s return of the Breakaway shows the major cruise lines commitment to providing Bermuda with their most modern cruise ships,” said Minister Crockwell.

“The 2016 Cruise Ship Schedule is designed to provide maximum benefit for a variety of Bermuda tourism industry stakeholders who rely on cruise visitors and crew members, including taxi and minibus tour operators, excursion operators, retailers and restaurateurs,” the statement said.

In addition to the 50 occasional callers, 100 cruise calls are anticipated from the regular callers. This will include the following:

  • Royal Caribbean’s new-build Anthem of the Seas will make 21 calls to Bermuda from Cape Liberty, New Jersey; replacing the Liberty of the Seas;
  • Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas will return with 17 cruises from Baltimore;
  • Celebrity Cruises will deploy the Summit from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, with 19 cruises scheduled for 2016;
  • Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy the Breakaway to Bermuda in 2016 with 26 calls;
  • Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy the Dawn on the Boston route, with 17 cruises scheduled for 2016.

“The 2016 Cruise Ship Schedule will be made available later this year from the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport, once final details are completed. The preliminary 2016 Cruise Ship Schedule is being announced sooner than normal to enable those whose livelihood relies on the cruise ship segment adequate time to prepare for next season.”

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Comments (25)

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  1. sage says:

    91 million, so the hundreds of thousands Hanbury and the BTA execs get is only peanuts. Promise is a comfort to a fool.

  2. Unearthed says:

    Too bad the BTA can’t say the same for air arrivals.

    • street wise says:

      Seriously…! BTA/BDoT (same old boys club) are just spinning the fact that they have failed miserably across the board! Air arrivals are still down….

      We need a whole new approach to promoting & advertising the Island, because this lot do not have a clue. How about a New York ad agency Bermuda ad agency partnership…?

  3. RU Kidding says:

    So, Hanbury gets all that money, and cruise visitors increase while air arrivals decrease. Anyone else see something wrong with that picture?

    • cottereaux says:

      Government recently paid Air Canada $2 million and Westjet $1 million just to continue flying to Bermuda. What does that tell you?

      Suspect Hanbruy’s performance metrics for his 30% bonus contains the total number of tourists, not a targeted number of air & cruise arrivals.

      • Russ says:

        Interesting that this kind of information is scarce in the press. It reminds me of the CEO’s who buy back their corporations shares when their bonuses depend on the profit/share.

  4. Lois Frederick says:

    Nice to see more of the high end cruse ships coming next year. Good work BTA. Now can everyone get on board and agree to widening the cut for St. George’s so they can get a bigger regular ship in there.

    • Staffernee says:

      Or at the very least make the bloody ferry schedule half way descent instead of the BS they have now.

    • Russ says:

      High end cruise ship … yet another oxymoron.

  5. Navin Johnson says:

    Zane? Any comment ? No?

  6. Rhonda says:

    Started clicking on related’s the pattern OBA/ BTA press statement air and cruise arrivals are up….. official statement air and cruise arrivals down…. Oba /BTA press statement air and cruise arrival are up…. official statement air and cruise down…… I think I’ll take a wait and see…and hope for the best.

  7. Young Bermudian says:

    We need an increase in airlift…what is the projection for that sector. They spend more money here ten times over according to the BTA reports.

    • Trulytruly says:

      The focus of the additional cruise ship visits for 2016 is on smaller more luxurious ships. The guests spend considerably more than the ones on the mega ships, that’s a fact. So we really will benefit more from these additional smaller ships. Yes, we need to increase air arrivals, AC 35 will have a positive impact on that number. Until then they will try their new approach and everyone will hope for better numbers. This won’t happen overnight though.

      • Russ says:

        Here’s a false premise. The reality is that smaller ships charge more for their cruises – they also spend about in line with the mega ships. Remember, those with the resource to spend obtained those resources by making smart purchases. Wealthy folk do not waste their money.

  8. Oh,I see now says:

    The rich still get richer and the poor still continue to suffer heh heh.

  9. Oh,I see now says:


  10. bluebird says:

    The PLP/BIU shot us in both feet in reference to air arrivals.
    It will take many year to recover from the damage done.
    NO ONE wants to build hotels in Bermuda,take Marriot you remember at Castle Harbour,they were give such a HARD TIME as the BIU was going to show them who was BOSS.
    Well Marriot now have OVER 700,000 rooms (seven hundred thousand) and they are just finishing a brand new Hotel to the south of us in ” HAITI”.
    No new Hotels in Bermuda for over 40 years,ask yourself WHY??

  11. bluebird says:

    Thank you OBA for having the foresight of the BTA which is making a difference slowly.
    When you make it difficult for people visiting and or working in Bermuda don’t exspect them to come running back when things get tight.

  12. Kevin says:

    Why do so many not see the glass is half full , most only see it half empty , this is positive , it is good news, we should be energized by it . I am sure the same hard work that was put in securing this is being put on getting heads on beds in our hotels. I would just like those in the travel business see that Bermuda wants to project we open for business and we all want them to come and have an unforgettable experience.

    • Russ says:

      Naivete … that’s how Bermuda got to where it is today. Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is insanity.

  13. The Truth says:

    You all are so quick to blame the BTA for everything, but many other factors come into place. How is the BTA possibly supposed to turn around the tourism economy considering they have only been in operation for a year and a half now? You all ask to much.

    Furthermore, they say it takes a village to raise a child. It is all of our responsibilities to make Bermuda an overall better tourism experience for visitors. NOT JUST THE BTA.

    We and the PLP are so quick to point fingers, but forget that when you point a finger 3 point back at yourself.

    • @ The Truth: “Ain’t-dat-de-truff?” e.g. “Furthermore, they say it takes a village to raise a child. It is all of our responsibilities to make Bermuda an overall better tourism experience for visitors. NOT JUST THE BTA”

  14. cole says:

    Tourism needs to promote the protection of our Marine and coastal environment, which attracts the best kind of tourists, not promote it’s destruction for low-spending ship visitors!

  15. skinnydipper says:

    The truth is Dr Brown try to show you this vision over 8 years ago where the industry was going and how bermuda needed to change. What happen UBP/OBA chased him out of St Geo cause they couldn’t handle a stronge Blkman. What is funny UBP/OBA supporters told the St Geo people the PLP turned their back on St Geo people..and put in office kenny bascome and OBA. Town cut channel should have been open long ago .The few old ones left in St Geo from that past including MJ need to get out of the way you had your turn your future is here and it is what it is. Real talk we have not gone anywhere from your raine. The least you can do is be quiet and get out of the way