Bermuda expects to increase its cruise passenger capacity by nearly 10 percent in 2010, to more than 340,000 passengers. This, after increasing its capacity by more than 10 percent this year – 316,000 passengers, compared to 284,000 in 2008.

The return of Holland America and Celebrity Cruises next year will account for approximately 60,000 passengers. The Veendam will be making 24 sailings from New York starting in April 2010, and the Summit, 15 sailings from Cape Liberty (also beginning in April).

The Norwegian Dawn and Spirit will again be sailing next year, but the Norwegian Majesty will not be making any Bermuda calls.

In 2007, NCL and Bermuda announced a long-term agreement stating that “NCL’s newest and largest ships (will) be deployed to Bermuda for the next 10 years, commencing 2009 and running through 2018 – each sailing at least 22 cruises per season.”

But while capacity will be up, there will never be any more than 8,500 passengers on the island at one time, Larry Jacobs, transportation consultant for the Government of Bermuda told Cruise Industry News. “They key is scheduling. Sure we are increasing our numbers, but we aren’t going to have five ships in port like we used to.

“We have also been talking to other cruise lines about making Bermuda calls,” Jacobs said, but he would not be more specific.

Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard, expected to be complete in May, is “on schedule,” Jacobs said. It will be capable of accommodating two Voyager-class ships.