The New York City Economic Development Corp (NYCEDC) has signed new usage agreements with Carnival Corp brands, including Princess Cruises and Cunard; Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and MSC Cruises.
These will involve future sailings from the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals and will prioritise emission reductions, educational partnerships, investment in New York City businesses through local provisioning, and create a community benefit fund to address neighbourhood priorities.
The cruise industry creates nearly $420 mill per year for New York City and spending related to cruise passengers and crew supports around 2,667 jobs across the city, with over 2,000 of these representing tourism-adjacent industries, including hotels, food and beverage, shopping, transit, and entertainment.
NYCEDC said it anticipated over 1.3 mill passengers will travel through the Manhattan and Brooklyn terminals this year – a record.
This signals that cruising and tourism have strongly rebounded in New York City, the Commission said.
“The cruise industry is a massive driver in New York City’s economy, generating thousands of good-paying jobs for New Yorkers and helping fuel the tourism and hospitality industry,” said NYCEDC President & CEO, Andrew Kimball.
“It is essential to ensure that these large-scale industries remain focused on sustainability and working alongside the community in all aspects, which is exactly what this agreement does.”
“New York City – in addition to being my hometown – is an iconic destination beloved by our brands and their guests, and we’re honoured to be a part of this vibrant community,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO and Chief Climate Officer, Carnival Corp.
“We’re excited to be partnering with NYCEDC to design an agreement that sustainably supports our operations, while also investing in the community that makes New York so special.”
“This agreement represents NCLH’s long-term commitment to New York City, its residents and visitors. We are extremely pleased to have identified, along with the NYCEDC, impactful mechanisms to support local economic growth, climate action and sustainable development throughout the term of our partnership,” said Daniel Farkas, General Counsel, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH).
“We look forward to a bright future in New York City, bringing thousands of guests from around the world to experience the sights and sounds of the Big Apple before and after they depart on a dream vacation at sea,” said Rubén Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA.
“Since we started sailing from New York City in April, ‘MSC Meraviglia’ has given guests and travel advisors more access to a wide variety of itineraries, including The Bahamas, Florida, Bermuda, and our seasonal sailings to Canada and New England, which began recently.
“MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest and fastest-growing cruise line. New York City is an important contributor to our growth in North America and we look forward to bringing more international visitors and economic stimulus to the region for years to come,” he said.
Each of these new agreements is designed to increase economic inclusion and sustainability of the cruise industry through expanded community benefits and emissions reduction. This includes:
- Establishing a Community Priority Fund: $1 per passenger will be added to a new fund, managed by NYCEDC, to directly address community priorities in the neighbourhoods surrounding the cruise terminals. Over the next 10 years, NYCEDC estimates this ground breaking fund will generate about $14 mill that will go directly to the Red Hook and Midtown Manhattan communities.
- Ground transportation planning: Partnering with cruise lines to track and improve the ground transportation and travel experience, to maximise public transportation options, reduce vehicle traffic, and improve the travel experience in the terminals and for the nearby communities.
- Reducing emissions: Tracking and implementing measures to reduce emissions where commercially and operationally feasible.
- Connecting to shore power: When feasible, cruise ships will connect to shore power to reduce emissions and ensure that all ships calling in New York City be equipped with shore power connections by 2028.
- Increasing local provisioning: Develop a local provisioning plan with the prioritisation of outreach going to registered Minority Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).
- Developing educational partnerships: Create new and expanded relationships with New York City based educational institutions and participate in at least one career fair and one networking event per year.
In addition, each cruise line is required to submit an annual report to NYCEDC showing its progress and commitment to each of the community benefits.
Term lengths for the new usage agreements range from three to 15 years and each of the agreements has the option for five-year renewals. They replace the current agreements with each respective cruise line.
In 2017, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal became the first port on the US East Coast to have shore power and remains the only one.
The NYCEDC said that it is committed to expanding shore power across both the Manhattan and Brooklyn terminals and is currently securing additional shore power infrastructure for the Brooklyn terminal to allow more ships to connect up.
At Manhattan Terminal’s Pier 90, the operator, Ports America, is currently working on an apron extension to allow for additional ships to berth.