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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — This spring several passenger cruise ships will dock in Wilmington and provide a welcome boost to the local economy. According to a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2007 study, each cruise ship passenger spends an average of $123 per U.S. port-of-call visit. It is estimated that each crew member spends an average of $49 per visit.

The small luxury cruise ship The Yorktown will make four visits to the North Carolina State Ports – Port of Wilmington this spring: April 30, May 10, May 20 and May 30. The April 30 cruise features a Historic Homes and Gardens of the Colonial South itinerary that will allow passengers to spend time at Airlie Gardens and the Burgwin-Wright House Museum and Gardens. The cruises arriving on May 10, 20 and 30 will feature two itineraries that include visits to Fort Fisher, Bellamy Mansion Museum, Burgwin-Wright House, Airlie Gardens and Wilmington’s historic riverfront.

Two Blount Small Ship Adventures cruise ships will also call on the Port of Wilmington in the coming weeks, weather permitting. On Monday, May 20, Grande Mariner will arrive at 1:00 p.m. with approximately 96 passengers and depart at 5:00 a.m. the following morning. On Tuesday, June 11, Grande Caribe will arrive at approximately 1:00 p.m. with up to 96 passengers, departing the following morning at approximately 5:00 a.m. Passengers will enjoy a narrated tour through Downtown Wilmington’s historic district with stops at Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts and Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts. In addition to their shore excursions, passengers will have free time to shop, dine, and explore the destination at their leisure.

Two American Cruise Line (ACL) ships will dock at the Bridge Tender Marina in Wrightsville Beach in May, weather permitting. On Sunday, May 5, the Independence will arrive at 11:00 p.m. with up to 100 passengers, departing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday May 6. On Sunday May 26, American Star will arrive at approximately 11:00 p.m. with up to 100 passengers, departing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday May 27. ACL Passengers will enjoy a narrated trolley tour, a catamaran cruise along the Cape Fear River, and free time to explore Downtown Wilmington. Another ACL ship, American Glory, arrived at Wrightsville Beach with up to 49 passengers the evening of April 28.

The CVB’s services department will provide visitor information for cruise passengers. Cruise itineraries are subject to change without notice.

“We welcome the ships and hope the passengers and crew will enjoy the history, charm and natural beauty of Wilmington¸ North Carolina’s historic river district and our island beaches,” states Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “When you add the passengers’ average daily expenditures to the fuel, ground transportation, tour services, and docking fees, these ships create an impressive local economic impact.”

The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County which stimulates economic development through the promotion of travel and tourism.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    Do we get any of the Carnival Poop Cruise ships?

    “Captain lets stop in Wilmington where we can “clean out” our “holding tanks”

    “Aye first mate, Wilmington is home to Iron Man 3, after we dump our load we shall rename Wilmington – “Cesspool to the stars.”

  • SurfCityTom

    The Mayor dons his Rear Admiral uniform; he heads up the Wilmington Home Fleet Reserve. He stands with an organ and grinds it as the passengers disembark. Their tours begin with a 30 minute overview of Wilmington Downtown presented by Hinnant and the Movie Mogul wannabe. The presentation is held in the CC; which means you have multiple events annually just from the cruise ships docking.

    Before they depart the CC, they deposit $10 into the Mantalanta Bucket for that day way down the road when enough funds are raised to build a ballpark. No taxpayer dollars required.

    On a serious note, the report indicates the 100 passenger vessels will tie up at The Bridge Tender in Wrightsville Beach. I guess they’ll shut down Intracoastal traffic while a vessel of thta size is docked. That should be cute.

    Who thinks up this stuff?

  • SurfCityTom

    there appear to be no subsidies or tax incentives required to secure the visits which do have a positive impact on the local economy.

    Menawhile, where are Hinnant and all of those downtown business promoters when it comes to securing these business activities?

  • Vog46

    “Menawhile, where are Hinnant and all of those downtown business promoters when it comes to securing these business activities?”

    Considering that Mayfaire is considered the “new” down town and they don’t have a failed Marketing plan, I assume John has no say in this.
    Perhaps someone from Mayfaire is passing out BETTER cigars?
    Oh the horror………


  • Gate Keeper

    A $123 per person!!! Well Cha-Ching! We finally got our payback on the Airlie Gardens investment. With 100 passengers per ship coming to see the money pit, now we only need 1650 more ships to break even. Let’s see 2 ships per year looking at southern gardens, that should be 825 years, not a bad investment.

  • Vog46

    Vessel is not that big. But it will probably cause quite a stir on the Intracoastal.

    well forget restaurant reservations that day……

  • SurfCityTom

    if you’ve ever been to the Bridge Tender, you know it’s not that far from the bridge and the channel is not that wide at that point when you consider the width of the boat.

  • Vog46

    I believe that a ship that size will probably run aground when it makes the turn up the Intracoastal.
    It will be the NC version of the Costa Concordia……

    Yes I am familiar with the water surrounding the BT.
    The folks at the Bluewaer will get quite show when it leaves. They might even have front row seats……….on the ship.

    Here’s a bit of irony for you. Those ships docking at the Port (the smaller ships) are part of Blount Small Ships Adventure and were built at Blount Marine in the town I left when I came here (Warren RI).
    If any one loves lobster try taking that Maine cruise and go harbor hopping in Maine. You’ll put on 10 pounds in a week and your cholesterol will go off the charts. I hope Barfield is reading this blog – he could single handedly move the market and cause a shortage….

  • SurfCityTom

    Berger will stow away. They are certainly astute enough not to shanghai him.

  • Vog46

    One cruise ship docked at the Bridge Tender last Monday, (I believe) with no apparent problems.

    Wrightsville’s Lumina news carried the story.
    And when the people disembarked there were no fights………how boring.


  • SurfCityTom

    Was there no one from WWAY to cover the docking?

    Was Barfield not there soliciting campaign funds as they disembarked?

    How about Berger? Might have been a good opportunity for him to pass out his manifesto or resumes as the case might be?

  • Guest Reply

    They just need a port to come to, when they break down.
    And $49 to spend per person per visit??? They predicted rain for last Saturday/Sunday…didn’t see a drop.
    I know…it’ll cost the passengers $49 to step foot off the boat into Wilmington…just because! Ha!


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