Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Local Cruise Lines to Reduce Emissions and Fund Red Hook Area Improvements as Part of New Deal

The 1.3-million passenger cruise industry boasts a $420 million economic impact for NYC each year.
Red Hook Cruise Terminal. Photo: Wikimedia/Jim Henderson.

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

"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 in a press release. “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." 

The cruise industry brings nearly $420 million per year to 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.   

Each of these new agreements are designed to increase economic inclusion and sustainability of the cruise industry through expanded community benefits and emissions reduction. As part of the agreement, the cruise lines will establish a Community Priority Fund. For the new fund, $1 per passenger will be used 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.   

Environmental changes are part of the agreement as well, such as partnering with cruise lines to track and improve ground transportation to maximize public transportation options and reduce vehicular traffic. They will also track and implement measures to reduce emissions and connect to shore power to reduce emissions.

Cruise lines will also develop a local provisioning plan with the prioritization of outreach going to registered Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs); and 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 15 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.    

“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.”