Moving to one operator for the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals is setting New York City up for long-term growth, according to Matthew Kwatinetz executive vice president, asset management at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
The city has had long-term agreements with both Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and new players are entering the mix.
“We’re looking at a couple new long-term partners,” Kwatinetz told Cruise Industry News. “We are seeing increased interest in the overall cruise business.”
He said costs between both terminals were now streamlined, and significant investments in Brooklyn will also push growth, allowing bigger ships to dock.
“We’ve had some good interest from other lines to come there,” he noted. Traditionally, Cunard and Princess ships have used Brooklyn as a turn-around facility.
Manhattan offers four traditional berths, with two slips at both Piers 88 and 90, with a fifth, overflow berth at Pier 92. In Brooklyn a single slip has been significantly upgraded.
“We have had to do a lot of work to bring the cruise terminals up to a level in which the latent demand could be satisfied,” Kwatinetz added.
Michael DeMeo, vice president of cruise for NYCEDC, noted a record year for Norwegian in New York in 2017, along with a strong presence from Disney.
The industry has been a key economic driver to city tourism, said Kwatinetz, becoming an integral part of the overall economic development picture while also supporting local businesses in the up and coming West Side and Red Hook neighborhoods.
Kwatinetz said the changes made, both in infrastructure and operationally, were a result of feedback from the cruise lines.
“If there wasn’t a match, we’re hoping to reignite their interest,” he added.
“We want to get to the point we’re maxing out the availability of the berths we have,” Kwatinetz said. “We have a lot of focus on getting vessels into Pier 92 and Brooklyn, where we have an opportunity for growth.”.
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