Skip to main content
Press Release

NYCEDC Announces New Agreements with Carnival, Norwegian, MSC Cruises to Sail from Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals

Sep 28 2023
NYCruise Terminal. Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/NYCEDC.

New Agreements Prioritize Reducing Emissions, Establish a Community Priority Fund, and Build New Educational Partnerships

1.3 Million Passenger Cruise Industry Boosts $420 Million Economic Impact for NYC Each Year

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced new usage agreements with Carnival Corporation & plc brands, including Princess Cruises and Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), and MSC Cruises for future sailings from the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals. These new agreements prioritize emission reductions, educational partnerships, investment in New York City businesses through local provisioning, and creates a community benefit fund to address neighborhood priorities.

The cruise industry creates an economic impact of nearly $420 million per year in New York City and spending related to cruise passengers and crew supports approximately 2,667 jobs across New York City, with over 2,000 of those jobs representing tourism-adjacent industries including hotels, food and beverage, shopping, transit, and entertainment. NYCEDC anticipates over 1.3 million 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 and Chief Climate Officer, Carnival Corporation & 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. 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,” said Daniel S. Farkas, General Counsel, EVP and Chief Development Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

“We look forward to a bright future in New York City, bringing thousands of guests from around the world to experience the sights and sounds of the Big Apple before and after they depart on a dream vacation at sea,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA. “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. MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest and fastest-growing cruise line. New York City is 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.”

Each of these new agreements are designed to increase economic inclusion and sustainability of the cruise industry through expanded community benefits and emissions reduction. This includes:

  • 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 groundbreaking fund will generate approximately $14 million that will go directly to the Red Hook and Midtown Manhattan communities.
  • Ground transportation planning: Partnering 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: Tracking and implementing measures to reduce emissions where commercially and operationally feasible.
  • Connecting to shore power: When feasible, cruise ships will connect to shore power to reduce emissions and ensure that all ships calling in New York City be equipped with shore power connections by 2028.
  • Increasing local provisioning: Develop a local provisioning plan with the prioritization of outreach going to registered Minority Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).
  • Developing educational partnerships: Create new and expanded relationships with New York City based educational institutions and 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.

Term lengths for the new usage agreements range from three to fifteen years and each of the agreements has the option for five-year renewals. The new usage agreements replace the current agreements with each respective cruise line.

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 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, our operator, Ports America, is actively working on an apron extension to allow for additional ships to dock and unlock the full potential of the pier.

The cruise industry is an integral part of New York City’s tourism sector, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year, and each of these agreements are designed to further ensure a sustainable and equitable future for New Yorkers while ensuring the industry continues to thrive. NYCEDC is committed to finding additional ways to ensure the longevity of the cruise industry while prioritizing workforce development and local sourcing to benefit New York City.

“The cruise industry brings millions of people into New York City who spend millions of dollars in our local economy. NYCEDC’s long-term agreements will help ensure much of this spending will be directed to our local restaurants and bars, supporting our small businesses and workers, and further cementing New York City as the global culinary and hospitality capital of the world,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance.

“Attracting tourists is vital to the city’s ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic. This agreement strengthens the city’s position as a tourism hub and moves us in the right direction on meeting our environmental goals,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“NYC has always been a port city, and having an infrastructure in place to provide support to the growing cruise industry is good for our local economy,” said Randy Peers, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “We applaud EDC for undertaking these three long-term lease agreements that will provide the cruise operators with operating stability, while ensuring that investments are being made to locally support small businesses, schools and workers.”

“This is an absolute win for New York,” said Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. “Not only will this agreement help to increase tourism, but it is also filled with meaningful benefits for local communities.”

About NYCEDC  
New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.