NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) - The German cruise ship AIDA Luna was docked at Nauticus on Wednesday. It comes to town three to four times a year.
According to the city, around 24 cruise ships use Norfolk’s ports at least once a year and when that happens, the city’s economy sees a major boost.
“Time and time again, they all say how much they love Norfolk. They get off this cruise ship and they say wow, what a great unexpected city. We had no idea what they are going to see and they love it and they all want to come back and they want to spend more money,” said Brooke Garrett
Tourists love to shop at the local mall, outlets and downtown stores.
"It’s very nice, with very good shops, big shops and now I have a new leather jacket," a passenger said.
Traveler’s spending money is a huge economic boom for the city. A spokesperson says on average, passengers spend about $121 per person each time a ship docks which is about 24 times a year.
The city estimates the overall spending today just in downtown shops, restaurants, and retail establishments will be more than $350,000.
Brooke Garrett with Phillips Cruises and Tours says $350,000 spent in Norfolk doesn't include 40 percent of those travelers taking tours in other nearby areas.
She said, "They are sailing on the rover, they are golfing in Virginia Beach so it's really truly a regional impact."
City leaders hope cruise ships keep making stops in here downtown Norfolk.