Local Business

High hopes for cruise season in Dockyard

  • Welcome visitors: one of the first cruise ships of the season, Norwegian Epic, arrived in Dockyard this week (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The first cruise ship has arrived in Dockyard this week, bringing a boost to foot traffic for businesses.

With more cruise ships visiting in 2018 than last year — bringing in more than 50,000 extra visitors — hopes are high among local vendors.

Joanna Cranfield, business development manager at Wedco said yesterday: “Yesterday was the first cruise ship and having everyone walking around, it felt like a summer day, with people wandering around and taking pictures.

“All the lights were on in Dockyard and it looked fantastic.

“Dockyard is open and waiting for business, a lot more passengers and boats are expected this year and we are ready for them.”

Compared with last year, April’s cruise calls will jump from 12 to 20, while October rises from 18 to 24 visits and November goes from six to nine.

Bermuda is expected to receive 180 cruise ship calls bringing approximately 470,000 passengers — amounting to 19 more cruise ship calls and 53,500 more passengers in 2018 over 2017.

The total estimated economic impact of visitor spending and government tax revenue is expected to be more than $72 million, including an estimated $50 million in visitor spending and $22 million in tax revenue.

In 2018, the total projected economic impact of both visitor spending and government tax revenue is $84.8 million, with $59.8 million estimated in visitor spending and $25 million in tax revenue.

The total economic impact would be an increase of approximately $12.7 million.

The City of Hamilton will see 17 calls in 2018, down from 26 calls in 2017.

Last year, the average cruise ship per person spent $114.50, according to Bermuda Tourism Authority data, producing a total $47.9 million benefit to the economy, up from $44.5 million in 2016.