NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk welcomed its first major cruise ship in nearly two years on Sunday.
The 1,000-foot-long Norwegian Getaway cruised down the Elizabeth River and docked at Nauticus, bringing around 2,000 passengers to the city's Downtown area.
Nauticus says it's the first of 25 total visits expected from the Norwegian Cruise Line in 2022, amounting to 150,000 passengers and 62,000 crew members.
The resulting economic impact on the area is expected to be significant, with each passenger expected to spend on average $125.
“This is kind of the last piece of the puzzle to welcome everyone to our campus and we just want to provide a great but safe experience," said Rehn West, Development and Marketing Director for Nauticus.
Local shops in nearby Selden Market could be seen preparing for new customers on Sunday morning.
“We’re looking forward to interacting and interfacing with all the tourists that are coming in," said Sia Alexander, Owner of Pure Lagos. “Letting them know that Norfolk is a very dynamic community.”
The cruise industry paused much of its operations through 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.