The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has unveiled new partnerships with major cruise lines, including Carnival Corporation brands Princess Cruises and Cunard, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises. 

These collaborations are more than just a boost for tourism to the Big Apple; they carry a strong focus on sustainability and community benefits.

With the cruise industry in NYC currently contributing almost $420 million annually to the local economy, these new agreements are set to make a significant impact.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation and Carnival Corporation, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line have reached an agreement over renewed contracts for cruises sailing from the Brooklyn and Manhattan cruise terminals

The agreements range in term length from three to fifteen years, with options for five-year renewals. They replace existing contracts and represent a forward-thinking approach to managing the city’s cruise terminals. 

Educational partnerships with local institutions and career fairs are part of the long-term strategy, aligning with goals to ensure a sustainable and economically robust future for the city.

Cruise Ship Docked in Manhattan, New York (Photo Credit: CK Foto / Shutterstock)

Andrew Kimball, President & CEO of NYCEDC: “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.” 

“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.”

The agreements between NYCEDC and major cruise lines promise substantial benefits for New York City, specifically for the Red Hook and Midtown Manhattan communities. 

The innovative Community Priority Fund is expected to generate roughly $14 million over a decade, money that will directly aid local initiatives. Additionally, enhancements in ground transportation aim to streamline travel experiences while minimizing traffic, making journeys more efficient for residents and guests.

MSC Meraviglia Arrives in New York (Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises)

Environmental initiatives, such as emission reduction and the use of shore power, contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable city. 

Further, the focus on local provisioning plans prioritizes outreach to Minority Women Owned Business Enterprises, fortifying the city’s economic inclusivity. Educational partnerships with city-based institutions also offer opportunities for career development.

The economic implications of these new agreements are vast. NYCEDC estimates that the industry supports around 2,667 jobs in NYC, primarily in sectors that benefit from tourism, such as hotels, food and beverage, and transit. 

New York City plays host to a vast number of cruise ships each year from a wide variety of cruise lines. These include Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Viking, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and many more.

Queen Mary 2 in New York (Photo Credit: Cunard Line)

Over 1.3 million passengers are expected to pass through the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals this year, setting a new record and signifying a strong rebound for cruising and tourism in the city.

Native New Yorker Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation: “New York City – in addition to being my hometown – is an iconic destination beloved by our brands and their guests, and we’re honored to be a part of this vibrant community.”

“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.”

As the cruise industry continues to battle the notion that cruise ships have a negative impact on the cities and ports they visit, the new agreements between New York City and the cruise industry show a fresh way to make tourism, community needs, and the environment all work together. 

Rather than butting heads, the plans show that the cruise industry’s business goals can support the communities where the ships sail. 

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