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New Bermuda Cruise Ship Schedule A Mixed Blessing For Island's Economy

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

27 July 2007


Opinion is divided as to whether the new cruise ship calling schedule announced by the government of Bermuda earlier this month will be beneficial or detrimental to the island's economy.

Under plans announced by the government for the 2008/2009 cruise ship seasons at a special meeting for members of the Bermuda Chambers of Commerce, two contract ships (Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Dream) will dock in St George's each week, while the Dockyard will see three contract ships a week (Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and the Norwegian Dawn). There will be no contract ships in Hamilton, which will only see 11 occasional callers all season.

However, on the positive side, the Chamber noted that all contract ships will be overnight ships, staying between 1 to 3 nights, allowing visitors to spend more time, and more money, in Bermuda.

In 2009, there will be more big changes. St George’s will only see one contract ship per week and Hamilton will again have only occasional callers. The second pier in Dockyard will be completed, and will allow 2 ships in port at a time. This means approximately 5000 passengers in Dockyard, 5 days a week.

Phil Barnett, president of the Chamber of Commerce and head of the Island Restaurant Group, told the Royal Gazette that the new sechedule is going to be something of a double-edged sword for the island's businesses. "The issue has, to a certain extent, got the membership split," he explained, adding:

"There are some members that do believe that not having a cruise ship in Hamilton is going to have impact on their business and there are some that believe it is going to be very good for their business."

"So in the absence of any mandate it is going to be very hard to take one side or another."


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