Tag Archives: bermuda


Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International has announced that it will base the 92,000 ton Serenade of the Seas on a series of cruises from Boston to Bermuda during 2018.

The ship will be the first of the line ever to sail from Boston in this century; her voyages will leave from the newly renamed Raymond L. Flynn Terminal (formerly the Black Falcon) on a series of week long itineraries that will allow the ship to spend three days and two nights docked at the Kings’ Wharf terminal on the north west coast of Bermuda.

This marks something of a game changer for Royal Caribbean; traditionally, the line has always offered Bermuda sailings from New York’s Cape Liberty, and more recently also from Baltimore. While the majority of these are seven night voyages, the line also offers a series of five night options that allow for an overnight stay.

Until now, Boston has always been a prime Bermuda home port for rival Norwegian Cruise Lines. That company’s Norwegian Dawn usually handles the seven day sailings that were started by the fondly remembered Norwegian Majesty through the late nineties.

The Serenade of the Seas is one of the popular, four ship Radiance class that have been well received by cruise passengers the world over. While not as news worthy or amenity laden as the headline grabbing Anthem and Oasis class vessels, they have all been consistently successful.

Certainly, the arrival of this classy, stylish ship on the Boston market makes for an impressive new addition to the roster of summer sailings to the Bermuda run. And, as always, more choice equals more options for fun and relaxation.

As ever, stay tuned.



The MS Veendam docked on the front street of Hamilton, Bermuda

In a move sure to be welcomed by those preferring a more intimate style of cruise experience, Holland America Line has announced that their popular Veendam will make no less than six round trip cruises from Boston to Bermuda in 2017.

The trips leave Boston on May 13th and 20th, June 10th and 17th, and July 8th and 15th, respectively. Unlike the larger ships that berth for three days and two nights at the Kings Wharf complex on the north west corner of the island, the Veendam spends three full nights alongside in the city centre of Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda.

This gives her guests a considerable advantage in terms of central location and accessibility, and a full twenty four hours longer to enjoy the grace, tranquility and sheer beauty of Bermuda itself.

The 57,092 ton Veendam was built in 1996, and named by the actress, Debbie Reynolds. She carries some 1,350 passengers, served by a crew of 580. Though now one of the smaller ships in the Holland America portfolio, the Veendam is, in fact, the perfectly sized cruise ship for Bermuda voyages.

The Veendam will also offer some interesting summer cruises to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and other ports along the perennially popular coastline of Maritime Canada. These can be combined with one of the Bermuda cruises to make for one particularly exotic, fourteen night long adventure.

Combining the old world charm, excellent service, fine cuisine and elegance of the intimate Veendam with the sheer beauty and allure of Bermuda has proved to be something of a resurgent success for HAL. And, as an elegant counterpoint to the increasing number of mega ships unloading passengers at Kings Wharf, these intimate, indulgent cruises are sure to be just as popular as those offered over the three preceding seasons.

As ever, stay tuned for updates.


The Norwegian Majesty was a familiar sight at Ordnance Island, Bermuda, for the better part of two decades

Renewing what has been a mutually beneficial arrangement for several years, Norwegian Cruise Line and the Bermuda government yesterday confirmed the cruise line’s weekly summer presence at the island for a further five years, from 2017-2022, according to a report on the local Bernews website (www.bernews.com)

While the company will still sail their large,contemporary mega ships from both Boston and New York to King’s Wharf in Bermuda, the real news here is that Norwegian will also guarantee a dozen additional calls a year at the port of St. Georges, on that north east corner of Bermuda. The original capital of Bermuda has been largely starved of cruise ship calls for several years- a consequence of both increasingly larger ships being deployed here, and the limitations imposed by it’s own, very narrow approach channel.

Speaking yesterday, Norwegian CEO, Frank Del Rio, implied that these calls may actually be made by the smaller ships of Oceania and Regent cruises, the two affiliate members of the group. Certainly, ships in excess of 50,000 tons cannot navigate the narrow channel entrance at St. Georges, and this would physically rule out any of the current Norwegian fleet from sailing through the channel, unless it were to be significantly widened. This is a process that would cause considerable environmental concern if it ever came to pass.

In any event, Del Rio is promising a return to the two and three night stays in St. Georges that were once a staple of the company. I have fond memories of just such cruises to Bermuda on board the old Norwegian Majesty (see photo at header), and these were immensely popular at the time.

Going even further, Del Rio has promised to finance construction of a pair of local, inter island ferries, designed to link the popular King’s Wharf area, where the mega ships dock, to the town of St. George as well. With much of its public transportation dependent on water ferries that sail around the island, this exercise should help boost the long overdue renaissance of Bermuda’s original capital quite considerably.

Also coming to St. George- and long overdue- is a new luxury hotel, built on the now vacant headland once occupied by the demolished Holiday Inn. This area has been desperately in need of a quality hotel for many years, if not decades.

It all adds to the feeling of renewed momentum for this hugely popular island and it’s ancient, very beautiful capital. And, after around a decade, it is also very gratifying to see Norwegian Cruise Line once more renewing links with the former capital.

Interesting times. Stay tuned for updates as they come through.