Wednesday, 1 February 2012

CEO says without port gambling, NCL could leave Bermuda

CEO says without port gambling, NCL could leave Bermuda

By Donna Tunney
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan told the Bermuda Sun that the cruise line wants to open its casinos while in port, and said Norwegian's future in Bermuda could hinge on it. 

Sheehan said that while Norwegian would like to extend its commitment to the destination beyond 2013, “We will have to wait and see what happens with the casinos and how the new ship performs. We will look at the operating costs and the casino situation. That could alter the decision for the long term.”

Added Sheehan: “We have made a commitment to Bermuda for the next two years and we would like to see it grow.”

Cruise ships are required to keep their casinos closed while in a Bermuda port, but Sheehan said that evening operating hours onboard a Norwegian ship would not compete with any Bermuda businesses. Guests have been asking to gamble onboard while in Bermuda, he added.

Bermuda’s minister of transport, Derrick Burgess, has said in recent months that the island government would address the shipboard gaming issue.

The Norwegian Star and the Norwegian Dawn will operate a series of Bermuda cruises this summer from New York and Boston, respectively, and the line has confirmed that the 4,000-passenger Breakaway, which launches in 2013, will offer Bermuda cruises from May to October of that year from New York.