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NYC firms new usage agreements with Carnival Corp., NCL, MSC

New York's new usage agreements include Norwegian Cruise Line, whose Norwegian Breakaway is pictured here, the brands of Carnival Corp. & plc and MSC Cruises
The New York City Economic Development Corp. nailed new usage agreements with Carnival Corp. & plc, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.

Covering future sailings from the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals, these agreements prioritize emission reductions, educational partnerships and investment in New York City businesses through local provisioning. They also create a community benefit fund to address neighborhood priorities.

Three to 15 years

Term lengths range from three to 15 years and each of the agreements has the option for five-year renewals.

$420m annual economic impact

The cruise industry creates an economic impact of nearly $420m per year in New York City and spending related to cruise passengers and crew supports approximately 2,667 jobs across the city, with over 2,000 of those jobs representing tourism-adjacent industries including hotels, food and beverage, shopping, transit and entertainment.

Record 1.3m passengers in 2023

NYCEDC anticipates more than 1.3m passengers will travel through the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals this year, a record high that signals cruising and tourism have strongly rebounded in New York City.

'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 honored to be a part of this vibrant community,' said Josh Weinstein, CEO, Carnival Corp. & plc. '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,' added Dan Farkas, general counsel, EVP and chief development officer, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. '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.'

'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 this week,' said Rubén Rodríguez, president, MSC Cruises USA. He called New York City '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.'

Community priority fund

The agreements include 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 neighborhoods surrounding the cruise terminals. Over the next 10 years, NYCEDC estimates this fund will generate approximately $14m that will go directly to the Red Hook and Midtown Manhattan communities.

Ground transportation planning

NYCEDC will partner with cruise lines to track and improve the ground transportation and travel experience, to maximize public transportation options, reduce vehicular traffic and improve the travel experience in the terminals and for the nearby communities.

Reducing emissions

The agreements include tracking and implementing measures to reduce emissions where commercially and operationally feasible. This includes connecting to shore power when feasible and ensuring that all ships calling at New York City be equipped for shore power by 2028.

Increased local provisioning, educational partnerships

The cruise operators will develop a local provisioning plan with the prioritization of outreach going to registered Minority Women Owned Business Enterprises.

New and expanded relationships with New York City based educational institutions are planned, and cruise lines will participate in at least one career fair and one networking event per year.

Additionally, each cruise line is required to submit an annual report to NYCEDC showing their progress and commitment to each of the community benefits.

Terminal improvements including additional shore power

In 2017, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal became the first port on the East Coast to have shore power and remains the only one to this day. NYCEDC said it is committed to expanding shore power across both the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals and is currently securing additional shore power infrastructure for the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to allow more ships to connect.

At Pier 90 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, Ports America is actively working on an apron extension.