Video: Minister Scott On Cruises & Island Boating

May 19, 2021 | 8 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott is holding a press conference this afternoon [May 19] to “update the public on cruise ship homeporting as well as island boating. We will have additional coverage later on, and in the meantime you can watch the live video below.

We will update with the full remarks as able, but in the meantime the Minister said that the Viking cruise ship Orion arrives in Bermuda waters this Friday, May 21st.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 12-minute replay is below

Update 4.25pm: Minister Scott’s remarks:

Good Afternoon to all members of the media.

I am pleased to announce today that the Viking Cruise Ship Orion arrives in Bermuda’s waters this Friday, 21 May, two days ahead of the scheduled arrival of 23 May, and will remain at anchor in Great Sound for 6 days to complete its 14 day quarantine period.

Viking will arrive with a crew of 460 and intends to sail with a reduced capacity of 50% on their first cruise. We want to assure the public that the COVID testing protocol onboard Viking is the most superior compared to any other cruise line. The Company has spent millions of dollars outfitting each ship to mitigate Covid-19.

I am also pleased to announce that the Orion will arrive in Hamilton on the 27th of May and the crew is intending to stay on board to ready the ship for their first ‘Bermuda Escape’ 8-day cruise on 15 June. The ship will visit all three Bermuda ports in Hamilton, Dockyard, and St George’s.

It is intended that the Bermuda Escape Homeporting itinerary will conclude on 3 August. We are hopeful that the success of this summer’s program will lead to an extension of the Viking’s Bermuda Escape itinerary in addition to Bermuda becoming a more regular port of call for years to come.

We welcome this much-needed stimulus to our economy. Homeporting will generate more airlift in and out of Bermuda. It will also bring additional business for local transportation, hotels, shore excursions, bunkering, freshwater provisioning, and garbage disposal services. It also creates the potential for pre- and post-cruise extension visits. We look forward to seeing a buzz with increased visitors during the summer months and beyond.

Like many industries in Bermuda, the Island Tour Boats and Charter Industry has struggled with reduced demand and reduced customer capacity during COVID.

Bermuda Tour Boat Association reached out to the Government to request assistance them through these harsh times and until they can operate to some level of normalcy.

Their requests included relief from payroll tax, liquor licensing fees, and boat licensing fees. The Association also requested to operate with a capacity greater than the 25 persons maximum under the various Covid-19 related regulations over the last year.

Additionally, they requested that the current Fuel Rebate allowance for May to October be extended for the entire year and that a moratorium on charter and island boats be introduced. These two items are still under consideration since the Ministry prioritized the requests to address the most time-sensitive items.

Their requests were considered and while boat licensing fees were increased by 5% across the board for 2021/22, fees were not increased for the boat and charter industry.

The liquor licensing fee was also reduced by 50% this year and those who applied from the tour boats and charters industry received unemployment benefits.

The government has also revised COVID Guidelines for Commercial Vessels effective May 9th of this year to allow them to operate with reduced capacity per the COVID-19 Maximum Capacity Assessment under the Department of Marine and Ports.

This will be reviewed regularly and is subject to change as required based on Bermuda’s COVID status.

Lastly, as the weather gets warmer and more and more Bermudians and visitors take part in Bermuda’s active boating culture, we want to remind boaters and water-craft users to be mindful of others and use care and caution.

Please be reminded that each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Follow Public Health guidelines, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app. Do the research, talk with your doctor, and make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Thank you.

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Comments (8)

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  1. dunn juice says:

    what about buses

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “first ‘Bermuda Escape’ 8-day cruise … The ship will visit all three Bermuda ports in Hamilton, Dockyard, and St George’s.”

    Really? All 3 ports in 8 days?

    • 2020 Won says:

      No problem. Our local pilots can show them a short cut down North Shore.

    • Jevon Ray says:

      Before mega ships started coming to Bermuda, we had 6 ships that came to Bermuda mon-fri (2 at each port)…..and rotated between 2 ports to give the visitors easy access to each port. So over 8 days, visiting 3 ports is very doable.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    The arrival of the cruise ships will require most of the restrictions regarding groups, curfews, dining etc to be lifted, but if so is that based on data as currently promoted by Government, or economically based? If the latter, do it now, why wait? Too many people in the private sector have suffered. The virus has no idea about the timelines so it does show the Government’s restrictions had little to do with data or science, just control.

    • Andrew says:

      Only vaccinated people are able to cruise so they will all be able to get the new app and be good to go. Everything nice.

    • LOL (original) says:

      “The virus has no idea about the timelines so it does show the Government’s restrictions had little to do with data or science, just control.”

      LOL it always was…. set up by the last admin of the great USA to make sure they voted for the desired person and over throw the government. Look to Maricopa county and Michigan in the USA and the vote audits. Funny how the numbers still don’t come to the correct tally. Or is it?

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