Head of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), Charles Jeffers ll said he was disappointed by Royal Caribbean’s announcement that Vision of the Seas would not homeport in Bermuda this summer.
“Our team has worked for months alongside the government to develop a thoughtfully considered homeporting programme,” said Mr Jeffers.
“Still, the loss means we must double down on our marketing efforts and continue to promote extended on-island stays for passengers.
“This is not the end of the road. Bermuda is open for business.”
But on the bright side, he said the arrival of Viking’s Orion today is the end result of “significant demand for the eight-day Bermuda cruises”.
“This Friday, Bermuda will welcome crew from Viking Ocean Cruises in preparation for the launch on June 15. The good news is that there has been significant demand for the eight-day Bermuda cruises,” said Mr Jeffers.
“The Orion will visit the City of Hamilton, St George’s, and the Royal Naval Dockyard, bringing affluent cruisers keen to explore what Bermuda has to offer. Our retailers, attractions, and experience providers stand ready to the summer season.”
Royal Caribbean’s Statement:
“As we return to sailing, we continue to be committed to delivering memorable vacations informed by valuable feedback from our guests and travel partners. The likelihood of cruises setting sail from the US this summer is greater each day, and with that, US travelers are increasingly showing a preference for more direct access to ports of departure.
“The decision has been made to cancel Vision of the Seas’ summer season from Bermuda. While we are no longer homeporting from the island nation, we still look forward to bringing our guests to Bermuda with several ships across the Royal Caribbean fleet as we have for many years. As we get back to cruising, our close partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Bermuda Tourism Authority is still focused on working toward the common goal of getting the community back on its feet by helping revive local tourism.”