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Mayor Bloomberg Announces New York City Cruise Industry Generated A Total Economic Impact Of Nearly $200 Million In 2012

March 13, 2013

Over 587,000 Passengers Spent More Than $120 Million in New York City Last Year, Exceeding All Other Continental U.S. Ports

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that New York City’s cruise industry generated a total economic impact of nearly $200 million in 2012. The 2012 Economic Impact Study, conducted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, detailed an increase in passengers of 32 percent since 2009, when the City first began analyzing industry data. These passengers, along with crew, spent more than $120 million in New York City last year, an increase of more than 30 percent since 2009, and overall, the new study showed significant growth in all sectors of the city’s cruise industry during this time. With a nearly 40 percent increase in ship calls and a 30 percent increase in spending over the last four years, the study’s findings confirm that cruise continues to be an important component of the city’s tourism industry and overall economy.  Tourism, which brought a record 52 million visitors to the City in 2012 who collectively spent $36.9 billion, is the city’s fifth largest industry, impacting 356,000 local jobs across all five boroughs.

“These numbers confirm that the our critical investments and ongoing efforts to support and grow the cruise industry are paying off,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Last year, a record number of 52 million visitors came to New York City – many of them by cruise ship – leading to additional jobs, increased spending, and providing a major boost to our economy.”

“Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, the tourism industry in New York City has become an important driver of economic growth and job creation,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “The cruise industry is an important part of the sector’s growth. More ship calls means more spending by passengers and crew, and that’s good news for the city’s economy.”

“The cruise industry in New York City is an increasingly important part of our City’s successful effort to attract record numbers of visitors, and to grow our overall economy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Thanks to the attention paid to this industry by the Mayor and his Administration and our strong partnership with some of the world's leading cruise lines – including those now-making New York City their home port – the future of this industry in our City remains bright.”

“The successful expansion of New York City’s cruise industry has helped us attract record tourism to our City while creating more opportunities for pre- and post-cruise visits throughout the five boroughs,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta.

New York City ranks among the nation’s top five cruise ports in embarking passengers due its dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and lodging options.  In 2012, there were 251 ship calls at the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals, up from 181 in 2009. Total passengers increased from 445,718 in 2009 to 587,727 in 2012. Spending by passengers and crew increased from $93.8 million in 2009 to $121.5 million in 2012, which is the highest total among all continental United States ports, and second only in the country to Honolulu.

Spending was broken out into three categories: embarking passengers, who began their cruise in New York City; transit passengers, who took cruises that stopped in the city; and crew.  Embarking passengers were the largest spenders with an estimated $100 million in direct spending, followed by on shore crew spending at $18.8 million, and transit passenger spending at $3.1 million. The largest spending categories for embarking passengers were hotel accommodations at over $41 million and food and beverages at over $18.2 million.

The majority of cruise passengers continue to come from outside the City. These passengers often arrange stays at a New York City hotel prior to or following their cruise, leading to the highest ever average spending per passenger at $462 during a two night stay.  NYC & Company last year launched a new cruise microsite at that includes information for consumers on the City’s cruise terminals as well as local events and suggested pre-cruise and post-cruise itineraries.

Beginning in May 2012, the Disney Magic made New York City its homeport, sailing 20 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Disney was one of six major cruise lines to make New York City its homeport in 2012, joining Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, and Cunard and Princess at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. In May of 2013, Norwegian Cruise Line’s new state-of-the-art, 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will make New York City its year-round home port. The Norwegian Breakaway will become the largest ship ever to call in New York City.

Supporting the cruise industry is part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn in May 2011. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs. It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.

Full results of the study are available for download at

Media Contact

Marc La Vorgna / Julie Wood
(212) 788-2958

Media Contact

Patrick Muncie/Ian Fried (NYCEDC)
(212) 312-3523