The AIDAluna *Creative Commons photo by Huhu Uet (CC BY 3.0)
The AIDAluna *Creative Commons photo by Huhu Uet (CC BY 3.0)

TUESDAY, SEPT. 25: The Ministry of Transport today announced that the German cruise ship AIDALuna will anchor in the Great Sound on Thursday September 27th with her passengers being tendered ashore to Hamilton.

The tendering service will be provided by the Government vessel Bermudian and will be supplemented by the ships’ tenders.  In addition, given the shortened one day call by the ship, local tour boat operators will be allowed to load their tours directly from the ship in order to permit such excursions to be concluded in the time available. 

The Hon. Walter Roban, J.P., M.P, Minister of Transport explained that the agreement with AIDA Cruises was made over a year and a half ago, and included the provision to allow the ship to use their own tenders for their visits to Bermuda.  “Thursday will be a very busy day with the Explorer or the Seas and Norwegian Star being berthed at Royal Naval Dockyard and the AIDALuna at anchor in the Great Sound,” said the Minister.  “Many of the tour boats have already committed to do tours, either from the ships at Royal Naval Dockyard or from the AIDALuna.  Our obligation with AIDA Cruises was made well in advance and formed the basis of their willingness to deploy the ship to Bermuda this year.”

The German-speaking cruise market is the fastest growing in the world and is forecast to be the 2nd largest source market in the world for cruises by 2016, after the United States. 

Minister Roban said: “Recognising the potential for additional cruises catering to the German market, our Ministry of Transport staff met with Aida Cruises in 2009 to begin discussions on the potential for deploying some cruises to Bermuda. This led to their deployment in 2011 with 3 cruises, followed by another 3 cruises in 2012, and another 3 cruises in 2013.”

The Ministry of Transport has an objective to provide a mix of cruise passengers from different origins.  Generally, foreign language cruise visitors purchase more items from local merchants and take more shore excursion tours than the traditional cruise visitor coming from the United States. The AIDALuna is scheduled to arrive on Thursday at 8:00am and sail at 5:00pm.