Nauticus begins gangway construction in preparation for ‘busiest cruise season’

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Preparations are currently underway for what local officials say will be one of the busiest cruise seasons, including in Norfolk.

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The city’s cruise ship program returns this week as the industry as the global industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early October, Nauticus welcomed its first foreign-flagged cruise vessel since the pandemic began. The Ocean Explorer, a 342-foot vessel can accommodate up to 177 passengers.

The new boarding system will accommodate larger, more modern cruise ships, including the Carnival Magic, scheduled to set sail from Norfolk in 2022.

The gangway was designed by Swedish company, Seawing PBB. The new boarding system will arrive disassembled aboard the vessel M/V Sluisgracht, and be re-assembled at Nauticus over the coming weeks

“Next year will be a game changer for our cruise ship program,” said Nauticus’ executive director,
Stephen E. Kirkland. “Not only will we begin our five-year partnership with Carnival, we’ll also welcome
25 ships from Norwegian Cruise Line, representing the largest port-of-call commitment ever for
Norfolk.”

Construction on Nauticus’ new passenger boarding bridge is set to be completed in mid-November.

Carnival Cruise Line begins its five-year sailing schedule from Nauticus in 2022 with the 4,000-passenger
Carnival Magic.

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