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Apr 9, 2014

A media tour on the Norwegian Jewel

The Norwegian Cruise Ship project on Harvest Caye has been getting a battering from private tourism stakeholders in the south. The project came under fire from as soon as it came to light but now that it has received the green light from the NEAC, the cruise ship line is pressing full steam ahead. In town today was Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President for Destination who met with the media on a tour of Norwegian Jewel. Belize is small destination, but today four cruise ships made calls in Belize and as far as numbers go, the Belize Tourism Board says cruise ship tourism continues to grow. Duane Moody reports.

 

Valdemar Andrade, Cruise Destination Director, B.T.B.

Valdemar Andrade

“This year, we will be getting about a million passengers passing through Belize City. On a whole, we get one point three million passengers, visitors, to Belize every year. About three hundred thousand from overnight tourism and one million passengers from cruise tourism that all enter Belize City and exits through Belize City so Belize City becomes a critical case in point on a whole. In Belize, we get an average spend from a cruise passenger of about seventy-five U.S. dollars or about a hundred and fifty Belize dollars a day and each crew spends about a hundred and three U.S. dollars or two hundred and six-odd dollars a day. Now again, multiply that by eight hundred thousand dollars, you can see the economic impact. And in total the economic impact is about a hundred and twenty million Belize dollars in 2013; in this year, we predict about a hundred and fifty million Belize dollars—eighty-eight million of those coming from visitors’ spend and the other forty or so million coming from the cruise port charges and fees and that kind of charges.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Approximately one hundred and twenty million dollars on a yearly basis in revenues to the country is generated from cruise tourism. Calling on port in Belize City to assist with those vast numbers are three cruise operators—Princess, Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines. And today, courtesy of NCL, the media was hosted to a tour of the Norwegian Jewel.

 

The fully air-conditioned, luxury vessel has eleven dining areas, villas and suites, seven bars and lounges; a fully equipped fitness center, spa; several pools, clubs, arcades, medical center and almost anything you can image…including several casinos. All compacted in a fifteen-storey state of the art transportation, the floating nine hundred and sixty-five feet long hotel was a marvel.

The tour was organized by NCL with assistance from the Belize Tourism Board. According to Vice President of Destination Development of NCL, Colin Murphy, it provides an opportunity for Belizeans to understand the quality of service offered by the cruise operator to its customers.

 

Colin Murphy

Colin Murphy, V.P. of Destination Development, NCL

“We thought that it was a fantastic destination and a destination that was increasingly popular and the brand of Belize, which was really becoming much more well-known in relation to ecotourism. We felt that it was a destination where we could add something; where we could help the experience and help tourism in Belize.”

 

On board the vessel was a familiar face. Neil Hall has been working with the cruise line for the past six years and is the Gallery Director on board the Norwegian Jewel. He spoke of life on broad the ship and about the opportunity he was afforded with the multibillion dollar company.

 

Neil Hall

Neil Hall, Gallery Director, Norwegian Jewel

“It is absolutely fantastic. Every day you wake up to a new challenge. Most of the time, you wake up in a completely different country. You get to experience different foods, different cultures, different peoples, different ways of interacting; and that is off the ship. On the ship, you have in excess of sometimes sixty different nationalities on board and you get to integrate yourself into their culture through their special events, through their way of speaking and interacting with you as a person. So it is truly a fantastic opportunity to work on a trip.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “A media tour on the Norwegian Jewel”

  1. Charles Green says:

    Calling on port in Belize City to assist with those vast numbers are three cruise operators—Princess, Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

    You forgot the most important that visit every week of the year – Carnival Cruise Lines

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