Coming soon: The Riviera is due to dock at Heritage Wharf on April 10. *Creative Commons photo by Engineer Bob
Cruise ships scheduled to dock at Heritage Wharf in April may have to drop anchor in the Great Sound if berth repairs are not completed in time.
The Bermuda Sun understands that Government is looking at the possibility of then tendering passengers off the ships that are unable to dock at Heritage Wharf.
Tendering is time-consuming and seen by some passengers as a disincentive to go ashore — which could hurt retailers.
Government has met with stakeholders to discuss contingency plans of what could be done if King’s Wharf is occupied and the Heritage Wharf project is still ongoing.
Work to repair the damaged wharf is already underway and more construction materials for the multi-million dollar project arrived in Bermuda this week.
Government has promised that the wharf will be ready in time for the inaugural visit of the Norwegian Breakaway on May 15.
But it is uncertain when exactly the project to strengthen and lengthen the berth will be completed.
And it remains unclear what will happen if two cruise ships are in Dockyard at the same time and construction work is still being conducted on Heritage Wharf.
The Bermuda Sun asked Government what will happen on April 10 when the liner, Riviera, is due to dock at Heritage Wharf while the Explorer of the Seas is at Kings Wharf.
We did not receive a direct response.
Instead we were referred to a previous statement provided at the end of January that stated Government was confident the necessary infrastructure would be “ready and sufficient” for the beginning of the cruise season.
The spokesman previously added: “The Department of Marine and Ports and the Ministry of Public Works have discussed the logistics of carrying out dock improvements when cruise ships are in port and the work is not expected to impact the docking of the ships.
“A plan has been put in place so that the contractor will work around the availability of each berth utilizing King’s Wharf as the primary ship berth if construction work needs the free space at Heritage Wharf.”
The two Dockyard wharves are both due to be occupied on April 15, April 29, May 5 and May 6.
The Sun asked Government whether the ships due into Heritage Wharf on these dates might have to anchor in the Great Sound and tender their passengers to land.
But we did not receive a response to the question.