Massive Cruise Ship Arrival Ushers in Busy Month

Nauticus is set to welcome a major cruise ship arrival tomorrow, May 7, as Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas makes its Norfolk debut. Passengers embarked the vessel in Tampa and will stop in Norfolk for the day. As guests enjoy regional attractions, restaurants and shopping, the ship will be loaded with provisions as it prepares for a trans-Atlantic crossing to Ireland. This marks the first time Norfolk has been utilized as a departure point for such an itinerary.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Royal Caribbean back to Norfolk,” said Nauticus executive director Stephen E. Kirkland. “No doubt, a ship with 2,000 passengers and 860 crew will have a major impact on our community.”

Along with the benefits of passenger and crew spending, a local bus company and shore tour provider will be on hand to escort nearly 500 guests on excursions, including a Norfolk highlights tour, trips to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown/Yorktown, and a tall ship charter. In addition to local security personnel and other ship-related regional workers, a Hampton Roads-based stevedore team will unload 15 truckloads of food, beverage and hotel items onto the vessel. The Brilliance of the Seas is scheduled to dock at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center at 11 a.m. on Thursday and depart at 6:30 p.m.

In total, Nauticus will welcome more than 20,000 passengers in May. Carnival Cruise Lines returns to Norfolk on Monday, May 11, with the arrival of the Carnival Splendor, one of the largest and most modern ships in Carnival’s fleet.