In business terms, cruising to Bermuda is
an evolving numbers game, with the growing capacity of new ships
butting up against the islands caps on daily and annual visitors.
The visitor cap
is based on our ability to provide a quality experience for air and
cruise visitors, said Larry Jacobs, transportation coordinator for
the Bermuda Ministry of Transport.
In 2003, there
were approximately 225,000 cruise visitors, with the daily peak
being approximately 7,800. But we believe our infrastructure can
accommodate an increased number.
Once dominated by
fairly small ships in the 650- to 1,450-passenger range, the
Bermuda market is now opening up to some of the largest vessels
afloat. Plans may add even more flexibility to cruise lines
In 2005, the
500-pound gorilla in the Bermuda market will be Royal Caribbeans
3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas, which will sail five-day
itineraries roundtrip from Royal Caribbeans new Cape Liberty Cruise
Port in Bayonne, N.J., May 15 through Nov. 13. The cruises will
alternate with nine-day western Caribbean sailings.
With Voyager in
place, the annual cap on cruise visitors will be increased and the
peak daily number will jump to approximately 8,800.
high-speed ferries recently have doubled the public transportation
available between Kings Wharf (at the west ends Royal Naval
Dockyard), the east end port of St. Georges, and the capital city
also plans to offer Bermuda cruises aboard the 1,950-passenger
Grandeur of the Seas, sailing five days roundtrip from Baltimore
from May 22 through Nov. 6, also alternating with nine-day western
new 2,100-passenger Jewel of the Seas will offer five 10-day
Bermuda/southern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Boston in
September and October 2005, with two days at Kings Wharf and stops
at Tortola, St. Maarten and Labadee (Royal Caribbeans private
The only true
luxury ship sailing Bermuda, Radissons 490-passenger Seven Seas
Navigator, will offer seven days roundtrip from New York on May 18
and 25, June 1 and 8, and August 10, 17, 24 and 31. Weeklong
roundtrips from Norfolk, Va., pepper the mix on May 24 and 31, June
7 and Aug. 16, 23, and 30.
The two other
lines visiting Bermuda in 05 are sticking to older, midsize
For the umpteenth
year, Celebrity Cruises will offer Bermuda on the twin
1,354-passenger Horizon and Zenith, built in 1990 and 1992,
The Horizon will
sail six-, seven- and eight-day itineraries roundtrip from Norfolk
from late April through June, followed by seven days roundtrip from
Philadelphia July 2 to Oct. 22. The Zenith will sail weekly seven
days roundtrip from New Jerseys Cape Liberty dock, April 23 through
Lines 1,460-passenger, Norwegian Majesty (built in 1992) will offer
seven days roundtrip from Boston weekly, May 1 through Oct. 23. The
1,078-passenger Norwegian Crown (built in 1988) will sail seven-day
roundtrips from Philadelphia April 24, May 1 and 8; Sept. 25; and
Oct. 2, 9, and 16 plus a single six-dayer on May 15. From May 22
through Sept. 18, itll offer the same itinerary weekly from New
Jacobs, the smaller, older cruise ships serving Bermuda will most
likely be replaced within five years by larger ships.
A study of the
costs and benefits of expanding the islands existing ports will
soon be presented to the Bermuda government and will include
provisions to accommodate at least one so-called Panamax ship at
the largest vessels that can transit the Panama Canal, represent a
large portion of cruise lines most up-to-date vessels.
In addition to
the ships visiting Bermuda regularly, a number will call in 2005 as
part of transatlantic runs and other longer cruises: Celebritys
Millennium (May 1 and Nov. 6), Crystals Serenity (Nov. 16),
Princess Grand Princess (April 16 and Nov. 10), Radissons Seven
Seas Mariner (April 22) and Seven Seas Voyager (April 9), and Royal
Caribbeans Legend of the Seas (April 10).
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].