Ferry Service Planned As Part Of Norwegian Cruise Line Bermuda Deployment
PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line will provide ferry service to St. George’s from Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard, said BTA officials. (Photo courtesy of the Bermuda Tourism Authority).
Norwegian Cruise Line will provide ferry service between Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard and the historic resort town of St. George’s as part of an earlier announced five-year agreement to deploy the company’s mid-sized ships in the territory, according to Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) officials.
Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to provide two 250-passenger catamarans to ferry cruise ship guests arriving at the Dockyard facility to St. George’s, said Bill Hanbury, BTA’s chief executive. Norwegian is advertising in Bermuda for a local operator with “in-depth knowledge of the marine industry” to operate the ferries on behalf of the cruise line, BTA officials confirmed. Norwegian officials did not respond to requests for comment.
“As part of the negotiations with NCL and as part of their new five-year agreement, which is now in place, they will provide Bermuda with additional lift between St George’s and Dockyard, which is sorely needed,” said Hanbury in a Royal Gazette interview. The service will supplement Bermuda’s existing ferry service, he said.
Bermuda has struggled for years with visitor transportation issues at the Dockyard, which is located far from tourist and resort areas including St. George’s and the capital city of Hamilton. In past years residents have complained of as crowds of cruise-ship visitors have utilized public transportation to access Bermuda beaches and resort regions.
Meanwhile private transportation options have been described as inadequate and costly, often resulting in long lines and complaints among arriving cruise ship travelers.
“They may help us, particularly when they have very high demand periods,” Hanbury said. “It also frees space on the public ferries, which also accommodates our visitors.”
The agreement will bring “increased vibrancy” to St. George’s, said Michael Fahey, Bermuda’s tourism minister, and “create jobs in restaurants, retail stores, at the beaches and at various east end attractions.” Fahey added, “We also expect an increased number of fares for taxis and minibuses as a result.”
In May, Norwegian announced an agreement with Bermuda’s government to host 12 cruise ship calls targeting St. George’s between 2017 and 2022. Norwegian also agreed to invest $150,000 annually to “enhance the cruise visitor experience in the town.”
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