Bermuda Exodus? Second Major Cruise Line Pulling Out

Bermuda has lost another cruise ship. A few weeks after officials learned Carnival would be trimming its calls to one in 2012, Holland America has announced that Veendam won’t be returning for the 2013 summer season.

“We will continue to call in Hamilton occasionally on other itineraries,” said the line in a statement. “The 2012 season will mark three years of Bermuda cruising roundtrip from New York and in 2013 other destinations are being considered as part of our overall global deployment.” (Specifics of the line’s 2013 itineraries will be announced throughout 2012.)

According to the Royal Gazette Online, Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said at a news conference that the “New York to Bermuda schedule was [apparently] not meeting their revenue projections.” Holland America denied the claim. “It really goes back to the part of the statement concerning overall global deployment, nothing further,” said spokeswoman Mary Schimmelman.

Word of Holland America’s departure comes just weeks after Bermudan authorities discovered that Carnival Pridewould be sailing its summer 2012 season in the Eastern Caribbean instead of Bermuda. Apparently, the tenant forgot to tell the landlord. “Although quite some time ago we had requested berths for several Bermuda calls in 2012,” said spokesman Vance Gulliksen in an e-mail on October 31, “we ultimately only scheduled one voyage. Therefore we did not cancel any cruises that were actually scheduled and open for sale; however, we did just recently notify the relevant people in Bermuda that we would not be needing those slots.” The line apologized to its partners in Bermuda for “not advising them of this situation sooner.”

But the loss of the two ships may not be the blow to the industry that it appears. “We may lose some numbers on the Veendam but gain some on another ship, so we may still have the same numbers,” said Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert during the news conference. According to Bermuda’s Department of Tourism, some 350,000 cruisers visited the destination in 2010.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises will offer regular Bermuda sailings in 2012, and Norwegian has already announced that its new Norwegian Breakaway will debut in spring 2013 with a series of Bermuda cruises.

– Cruise Critic

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.