Norfolk gears up for even more cruise passengers in 2016

Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 18:22:22-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - Following a banner year in 2015, Norfolk is gearing up to welcome even more cruise ship passengers in 2016.

Carnival Cruise Lines returned to Norfolk last year offering cruises to the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Several cruise lines also made port-of-call visits to Norfolk in 2015, with the overall figures showing 38,000 cruise ship passengers and 14,000 crewmembers visiting Downtown Norfolk.

During his 2016 State of the City Address, Mayor Paul Fraim announced even more passengers are expected in 2016.

"This year, our schedule continues to grow, in fact, we are double-booked for a day in October, with a ship at Half Moone and another at Lamberts Point.  We’ll roll out the red carpet for more than 44,000 passengers and 14,000 crew in 2016, creating an enormous economic impact," Mayor Fraim stated.

That double-booking will happen on Halloween, when Norfolk hosts the MS Regatta at Half Moone and the SS Mariner at Lamberts Point, according to Norfolk cruise officials.

The first ship for the 2016 season in Norfolk is expected in port on April 15th when the SS Mariner pulls into the Half Moone Terminal.