Make us your home page
Instagram

It's official: 'Norwegian Star' to cruise from Tampa port

It's official: Norwegian Cruise Line will offer its first cruises from Tampa in October 2011.

Word of the ship coming to Tampa spread Monday. Norwegian held a cocktail reception in Tuesday evening for scores of travel agents, local government officials and representatives of the maritime business in downtown Tampa.

The Miami company will bring the 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star to the port for seven-day trips to western Caribbean destinations in Honduras, Belize and Mexico. The 965-foot-long vessel will sail from Tampa through the six-month winter season.

Norwegian pioneered "freestyle cruising,'' which encourages ultra-casual clothing and no set hours for dining. The third-largest U.S. cruise company is also known for aggressive fare discounting.

The 2011-2012 winter schedule "will be one of our most exciting Freestyle Cruising seasons with opportunities to sail from three cities in the Sunshine State,'' said CEO Kevin Sheehan in press release today. Norwegian sails from Miami and begins cruises from Port Canaveral in October.

Two ships, the Carnival Legend and Carnival's Inspiration, now cruise year-round from Tampa. Two others were based at the port last winter: Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas and Holland America's Ryndam.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line in bringing their outstanding brand of cruise experience to Tampa,'' said Richard Wainio, Tampa port director. "An additional cruise ship home porting in Tampa means a welcome boost to tourism that will bring significant benefits to the local and regional economy.''

Just over 800,000 cruise passengers sailed from the Port of Tampa for the fiscal year ending last Sept. 30. Like similar agencies, the Tampa Port Authority counts cruise passengers twice — when they board and depart the ship.

With 27 sailings scheduled for the 2011-2012 winter season, the Norwegian Star could bring an additional 114,000 cruise passengers to Tampa annually.

The port should get a boost in the upcoming winter season. Royal Caribbean is replacing the Grandeur of the Seas with the Radiance of the Seas, which is larger and will make nearly twice as many sailings.

That could generate 75,000 more passengers a year. Between the two new ships and modest growth on existing vessels, the port could handle more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2012, said Wainio.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes. or (813) 226-3384.

It's official: 'Norwegian Star' to cruise from Tampa port 02/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 6:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?

    Agriculture

    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  2. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway

    Business

    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.
  4. Back to life: Event helps Riverview revert to peaceful pace after Irma

    Human Interest

    RIVERVIEW — Robin and Ray Castell say establishing residency in the Winthrop Village was one of the best decisions of their lifetime.

    hillsbrandon092217: Meredith Tucker of Riverview, the mother of two children and another one soon on the way, browses the racks of Dot Dot Smile children?€™s clothing as company merchandiser Kelcie Schranck, standing behind her in the black shirt, looks on during the first-of-its-kind Recruiting the Community event on Sept. 17 at the Barn at Winthrop in Riverview. Photo by Joyce McKenzie.
  5. SEC says hackers may have profited from stolen info

    Business

    The Securities and Exchange Commission says its corporate filing system was hacked last year and the intruders may have used the nonpublic information they obtained to profit illegally.

    In this file photo, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman nominee Jay Clayton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The SEC says a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016. [AP file photo]