Cruising To New London

Did you ever wonder how the people on shore feel when a cruise ship unloads hundreds of passengers at the pier? You’ll have seven chances to find out next year in New London.

The newly refurbished Royal Princess, which carries up to 710 passengers, will call in New London five times next fall, the Connecticut Cruise Ship Task Force announced Thursday. In addition, Holland America’s 1,266-passenger Maasdam will stop by next May, as will the 164-passenger German luxury cruiser, the MS Bremen of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Holland America first came to New London in 2004, and will visit three times this year.  So far, the Maasdam’s visit, on May 4, is the line’s only announced call there in 2008. The stop will come during a 13-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal. Prices start at $1,627 per person, double occupancy.

The Royal Princess will sail four one-way trips between Montreal and New York in the fall of 2008 and finish up with a 17-day trip from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale. It will stop in New London on each trip — on Sept. 25 and 27, Oct. 17 and 19, and Nov. 6 — in between calls to Boston and New York. Prices start at $2,145 per person for the 11-day trip and $3,295 for the 17-day trip.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has not yet published its itinerary for the MS Bremen trip.

The New London Day is reporting on some of the internal politics of the

Princess has yet to list shore excursions for New London, but Holland America lists five: the Essex Steam Train, Fort Trumbull, Mystic Seaport, Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Aquarium, and the Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus.

Why not the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos? Maybe they don’t want the passengers coming back broke.


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