Press Releases

NYCEDC Announces New York City Cruise Industry Generated a Total Economic Impact of $229.5 Million in 2013

Over 620,000 Passengers Spent More Than $140 Million in New York City Last Year, Exceeding All Other Continental U.S. Ports

New York City Economic Development Corporation today announced that New York City’s cruise industry generated a total economic impact of nearly $230 million in 2013. The 2013 Economic Impact Study details an increase in passengers to over 620,000, more than 30,000 higher than in 2012, and nearly 40 percent higher than in 2009, when the City first began analyzing industry data. These passengers, along with crew, spent more than $140 million in New York City last year, a 16 percent increase from 2012, and overall, the new study showed significant growth in all sectors of the City’s cruise industry since 2009. With significant increases in ship calls and passenger and crew spending over the last five years, the study’s findings confirm that cruise continues to be an important component of the city’s tourism industry and overall economy. Tourism, which brought a record 54.3 million visitors to the City in 2013 who collectively spent $39.4 billion, supported more than 370,000 leisure and hospitality jobs across all five boroughs.

“The cruise industry plays a critical role in New York City’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to the City’s robust tourism and hospitality industry, which generates $59 billion in economic impact per year,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “The jobs and economic activity produced by the cruise industry are an important part of New York City’s continued economic growth and diversification, and we look forward to promoting development of the sector.”

New York City ranks among the nation’s top five cruise ports in embarking passengers due its dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and lodging options. Spending by passengers and crew increased from $93.8 million in 2009 to $141.2 million in 2013, and the average amount spent by passengers in New York City is the highest total among all continental United States ports, and second only in the country to Honolulu.

Spending was broken out into three categories: embarking passengers, who began their cruise in New York City; transit passengers, who took cruises that stopped in the city; and crew. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders with $118.9 million in direct spending, followed by on-shore crew spending at $18.7 million, and transit passengers spending at $3.6 million. The largest spending categories for embarking passengers were hotel accommodations at over $49 million and food and beverages at nearly $24 million.

The majority of cruise passengers continue to come from outside the City. These passengers often arrange stays at a New York City hotel prior to or following their cruise, leading to an average spending per passenger of $437 during a two night stay. Additionally, an increasing number of passengers come from outside the United States.  In 2013, there were 98 percent more international passengers embarking on cruises out of New York City than in 2012.  In 2012, NYC & Company launched a cruise microsite at that includes information for consumers on the City’s cruise terminals as well as local events and suggested pre-cruise and post-cruise itineraries.

The Manhattan Cruise Terminal underwent a $200 million renovation in late 2008, and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which opened in April 2006, cost $50 million to build.  These investments in the City’s cruise industry have helped generate billions of dollars from the cruise sector, and have attracted state-of-the-art ships into New York City’s fleet.  Beginning in May 2013, Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000 passenger ship, New York City-themed Norwegian Breakaway, made New York City its year-round home port, becoming the largest ship ever to call in New York City.


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


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Contact Info

Kate Blumm/Ian Fried

(212) 312-3523