NORFOLK -- Norfolk city leaders are hoping more cruise ship business will sail back downtown.
The $37 million cruise terminal opened more than six years ago. Now, not one ship has signed a deal to stay in Norfolk. Carnival Cruise Lines pulled out last summer and Royal Caribbean left back in 2010.
“It’s important to the local economy. Years ago, we promised the citizens we were building this cruise ship terminal to bring in more business. To me, it’s all about commitment,” Council member Anthony Burfoot said.
The city will soon start the search for a new director of the Maritime center, which includes the Wisconsin, Nauticus and the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center. Last week, director Hank Lynch resigned for personal reasons.
“It is critical that we take our time and find someone that has the expertise and the relationships in the cruise ship industry to be able to bring cruise ships back,” Burfoot noted.
Stephen Kirkland is filling in as interim maritime director. City officials say the job opening has not yet been listed.