Wilmington, NC April 29, 2013 – 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.