Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan today announced that Norwegian Cruise Line’s new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will make New York City its year-round home port. Beginning in May 2013, Norwegian Breakaway – which will be the largest ship ever to home port in the City – will replace Norwegian Star, and embark on a minimum of 88 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal through March 31, 2015. The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending. Mayor Bloomberg and Norwegian Cruise Line were joined at the announcement in the Manhattan Cruise Terminal by New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and NYC & Co. CEO George Fertitta.

“Out-of-town visitors spent $31 billion last year, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in our restaurants, shops, hotels, and cultural institutions,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By making New York City home to its newest and largest ship, Norwegian Cruise Line is further confirming our standing as a top cruise destination and a place that tourists from around the world want to visit.”

“New York is not only one of our top markets, but also my hometown,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan. “Therefore, I am thrilled to announce that New York will be the year-round home for our next generation Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Breakaway. In addition, we are offering an exciting inaugural summer itinerary cruising to the beautiful island of Bermuda, a much sought-after summer destination.”

“With the announcement that this amazing new ship will call Manhattan Cruise Terminal its year-round home, Norwegian Cruise Line is demonstrating their commitment to New York City and its economy,” said New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky. “Over the next several years, Norwegian Breakaway will bring tens of thousands of additional passengers to the City, thereby generating millions of dollars in spending while also creating good jobs for New Yorkers. I would like to thank Norwegian Cruise Line for this significant investment in our City’s future.”

“New York City is one of the top five cruise ports in the United States, and we thank Norwegian Cruise Line for making Manhattan Cruise Terminal Norwegian Breakaway’s year-round home port,” said George Fertitta CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s marketing and tourism arm. “Approximately 583,000 cruise passengers embarked in New York City in 2010 and that number continues to grow helping the City to report record breaking tourism numbers year after year. We hope Norwegian Breakaway and all of the Norwegian Cruise Line passengers will have an opportunity to visit New York City pre- or post-cruise and discover the energy and vibrancy of all five boroughs.”

Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to homeport year-round in New York City beginning in 2003. Since then, the company has been committed to bringing its newest and largest ships to the Big Apple, with two ships calling year-round in New York City since 2010. In 2013 alone, Norwegian Breakaway is expected to make 34 calls at Manhattan Cruise Terminal (MCT). In addition, Norwegian Gem will continue to call year-round at MCT, with an expected 47 calls, and Norwegian Star will make 15 calls in 2013 before being replaced. In total, Norwegian Cruise Line ships will bring approximately 285,000 embarking passengers into New York City in 2013, generating approximately $70 million in direct spending in the City – a $13.5 million increase due to the additional passengers on Norwegian Breakaway.

The cruise ship industry continues to play an increasingly important role for New York City tourism and overall economy, contributing to the record-breaking 48.7 million visitors who visited New York City in 2010. New York City ranks among the nation’s top five cruise ports due its dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and lodging options. Overall, tourism is the fifth-largest industry in New York City – supporting nearly 320,000 jobs across the City’s five boroughs and the City presently remains on track to meet the Mayor’s goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by 2012.

According to a 2010 Economic Impact Study of cruise passenger and crew spending in New York City, passengers and crew spent an estimated $144.6 million in New York City in 2010, far exceeding the $93.8 million spent in 2009. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders at $117.9 million, followed by crew spending at $21.5 million and transit passenger spending at $5.2 million. Passengers with pre-cruise or post-cruise overnight stays had the highest average spending per passenger at $437 during a two-night stay. The study found that only 21 percent of cruise passengers resided in the tri-state area.

Cruise passenger arrivals in New York City were also significantly higher in 2010 compared to 2009. In 2009, there were 445,718 combined embarking and transit passengers and 181 ship calls. These numbers jumped to 582,979 combined embarking and transit passengers and 241 ship calls in 2010. NYCEDC currently projects this upward trend to continue in 2011, with an expected 264 ship calls and 645,000 passengers.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013. Following inaugural events, the ship will sail a series of 22 seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda beginning May 12, 2013 through Oct 6, 2013. Departing on Sundays, the ship will spend three full days in Bermuda, along with three days at sea.

Norwegian Breakaway’s New York to Bermuda cruises are scheduled to go on sale to Latitudes members, Norwegian’s frequent guests, on Friday, October 14, 2011 and to the public on Monday, October 17, 2011. Also, as part of its Partners First commitment, Norwegian will open Norwegian Breakaway’s sailings for group block bookings exclusively for travel partners on Monday, October 10, 2011. Travel partners wishing to block a group should call Norwegian at 800-327-7030.
Information on Norwegian Breakaway’s accommodations and itineraries can be found here. To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit www.ncl.com.