FRIDAY, AUGUST 17: A major cruise company has decided to cut its calls to Bermuda because its guests are looking for a greater variety of destinations to visit.
Royal Caribbean’s ship, Grandeur of the Seas, will alternate between Bermuda and the Bahamas next year.
The move, which was revealed in the Bermuda Sun last week, will see the liner visit the island just 15 times in 2013, compared with the 25 trips its predecessor, Enchantment of the Seas, made this year.
A spokesman for Royal Caribbean said: “Explorer of the Seas will call at King’s Wharf, Bermuda on 26 sailings from the New York City metropolitan area in 2013.
“On most of these sailings, Explorer of the Seas actually stays one or two nights at King’s Wharf, offering our guests multiple days to enjoy Bermuda.
“Similarly, Grandeur of the Seas also will call at King’s Wharf on 15 sailings that also stay one or two nights in port.
“While Bermuda continues to be a great destination for our guests, we also have received feedback that they want more variety of destinations from Baltimore.
“As a result for 2013, we will alternate Bermuda and Bahamas sailings with Grandeur of the Seas.”
A recent government statement on the planned cuts by Caribbean suggested that the Explorer of the Seas would be calling into Bermuda on 29 occasion.
But the Royal Caribbean statement received by the Bermuda Sun suggests that the ship will make just 26 trips to Bermuda in 2013.
By the end of 2012 Royal Caribbean’s two ships, Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, will have visited the island a total of 55 times between them.
Next year, according to Royal Caribbean, the cruise line’s two ships will make a total of 41 trips between them to the island – a drop of 14 calls.
A further statement from Royal Caribbean added: “Bermuda is a spectacular destination and very popular with our passengers.
“While we would have liked to visit more often, the difference in the number of port calls is largely due to a change of itinerary patterns from Baltimore, which limited our ability to call in Bermuda.”
The Sun contacted Government and Royal Caribbean for clarification on the number of Explorer of the Seas calls in 2012 but did not receive a response by the time we went to press.