Captain Ubaldo Armellino also spoke briefly, calling Bermuda one of the most beautiful islands in the world and saying he was sure the passengers would enjoy their time in Bermuda.2-17. Five Bermudian crew, led by long-time mariner Beau Evans, have begun ferrying passengers from NCL cruise ships to and from St Georges and Dockyard on the new tender Bo Hengy II.
The service begun on Monday when junior minister for tourism Kenny Bascome rode with the crew, assisting some of 650 passengers who took the trip from west to east on the first day.
They are seasonal because Bermuda, not the Caribbean but 1200 miles north of it, has an appreciably cooler climate in the winter months. Transport minister Walter Roban led the delegation aboard the Bermuda-registered luxury liner which arrived from the port of Charleston, United States, on its inaugural visit to the island.
Stopping in its home port for the day and then sailing on to Ponta Delgada, Azores, the vessel carried some 1,900 passengers and a crew of 850.
Mr Roban welcomed Deputy Captain Alan Hawkins and crew of the sixth largest of eight ships currently in service with P&O Cruises.
He said in a press release: Visitors have been cruising to Bermuda for more than a century and, today, we welcome more than ever before in three port of calls.
At more than 76,000 tonnes, Aurora was built by Meyer Werft at their shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
He later added: Its great to celebrate what we can achieve together.
And Im happy to say that Bermudas friends at NCL are delivering on a commitment to work with the Government of Bermuda, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Town of St George to boost the fortunes of the East End after far too many years of limited economic momentum.
Government announced last year that St Georges would receive an additional 12 cruise ship visits annually between 20 through a partnership with NCL.
The agreement included bringing ferries to the island to run from Dockyard to the East End, along with a yearly investment of 0,000 by NCL to sponsor tourism enhancement in co-operation with the BTA.