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PR- 201-09
May 6, 2009


Italy-based MSC Cruises Adds New Service to New York City, More than Doubling City’s International Cruise Visitors and Generating $3.5 Million in Additional Visitor Spending

Promoting New York City’s Cruise Industry, Which Supports Thousands of Local Jobs, is Part of City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Seth W. Pinsky and MSC Cruises USA President and CEO Richard E. Sasso today announced that MSC cruise ships is adding New York City “ports-of-call” in 2009 and 2010. The Italian-based cruise line will make six port calls, bringing more than 25,000 passengers to the City for one to two days and generating an estimated $3.5 million in visitor spending in restaurants, shops and cultural attractions. With the majority of cruise ships beginning and ending their voyages in New York City without affording passengers opportunities to spend time in the five boroughs, NYCEDC is implementing a campaign to attract more international cruises. MSC’s new service will more than double the number of international cruise passengers that debark in New York City. Attracting international visitors and growing diverse sectors of the economy are part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Deputy Mayor Lieber and NYCEDC President Pinsky welcomed the MSC Orchestra, Capitan Mario Stiffa, 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew members to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on the ship’s inaugural port-of-call to New York City.

“New York City benefits from any cruise activity, but when cruise ships make port-of-call stops in the City and visitors stay overnight and eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores and visit our cultural attractions, it’s a particular boost to the local economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “MSC Cruises’ new stops in New York will more than double the number of international cruise visitors coming to the City, and that will help support jobs across all five boroughs.”

“Our investments in New York City’s tourism industry continue to pay off, and this new international cruise activity is a prime example of that,” said Deputy Mayor Lieber. “I look forward to welcoming the more than 25,000 international visitors aboard MSC’s Orchestra and Magnifica this year and next. There’s no better time to visit New York City and experience all the wonderful cultural amenities, restaurants, shopping, neighborhoods and waterfront.”

“With the most modern and fastest growing fleet in the cruise industry, MSC Cruises feels right at home in this, the crossroads of the world,” said MSC Cruises President and CEO Richard E. Sasso. “We look forward to strengthening our position in New York City in future years.”

To attract international cruise lines, NYCEDC tailors its promotional materials to international markets, meets regularly with international lines and presents New York City’s assets at major international cruise industry conventions. NYCEDC and its terminal operator Ports America are working closely with Stazionzi Marittime SPA, Genoa, Italy’s Port and MSC’s largest homeport in Italy, to increase traffic and operational efficiencies in both ports. The City has invested more than $250 million in a new cruise terminal in Brooklyn and the upgrades and renovation to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, which were completed in January. According to the New York Shipping Association, port-of-call passengers typically spend more than $150 per day while in port. A recently released study by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that in 2007, the New York City cruise industry supported more than 13,500 jobs and generated more than $1 billion in economic activity.

“We have made a substantial investment in the cruise industry over the past few years, and today’s event is evidence that the investment is paying off despite current economic conditions,” said NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky. “Both our cruise terminals are now fully modern, state-of-the-art facilities capable of efficiently accommodating the largest cruise ships in use today.”

“Our cruise terminals in Manhattan and Brooklyn are key points of origin for visits to New York City,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s tourism, marketing and partnerships organization. “New York City welcomed 47 million visitors in 2009, and today’s announcement raises the visibility of New York City as a cruise destination.  We look forward to working with NYCEDC and our private partners to develop additional opportunities to welcome cruise passengers to New York City.”

MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. is the North American sales and marketing agent for MSC Crociere SA, an Italian-owned cruise line that operates a fleet of nine cruise ships. It is part of Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second largest container carrier in the world with more than 325 container ships. In addition to MSC Cruises’ nine ships, three additional Panamax cruise ships are scheduled to join the fleet between now and 2012.

The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit Recently, the City has announced:

  • The “Nine in ’09” campaign to promote economic activity in diverse neighborhoods.
  • Center for Economic Opportunity placed 2,179 low-income New Yorkers in jobs.
  • Stimulus-funded community development projects that will strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Stimulus-funded Housing Authority projects that will create jobs for 3,255 New Yorkers.
  • The start of construction of 103 units of affordable housing in Brownsville.
  • A plan to protect area character and expand commercial opportunities in Sunset Park.
  • The opening of Home Depot in the South Bronx creating 200 new permanent jobs.
  • Legislation that will green buildings and create 19,000 construction jobs.
  • The latest round of training funds to help small businesses train their employees.
  • The final tally of 1,673 additional jobs created at the new Yankee Stadium.
  • The placement of 50 laid-off New Yorkers into positions at entrepreneurial companies.
  • New York City achieved a record 5,000 job placements through the first quarter of 2009.
  • Help for a beer distributor to create 55 permanent and 30 construction jobs in the Bronx.
  • Green projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are creating more than 1,700 permanent jobs.
  • Comprehensive initiatives to support the nonprofit sector and its 490,000 jobs.
  • Federal stimulus transportation projects that will create or preserve 32,000 jobs.
  • New automated water meter readers that could help businesses retain or create 550 jobs.
  • New programs to provide training and resources for City’s future entrepreneurs.
  • Steps the City is taking to help small businesses adapt to conditions and avoid layoffs.
  • More than 50,000 New Yorkers claimed the City’s Child Care Tax Credit in its first year.
  • 11 new initiatives to support the financial services sector and promote entrepreneurship.
  • A plan for Coney Island that will create 6,000 permanent and 25,000 construction jobs.
  • A plan to create 400,000 jobs over the next six years in the 2009 State of the City speech.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

David Lombino/Janel Patterson (EDC)   (212) 312-3523

Julianne Carelli (MSC Cruises)   (954) 958-3262

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