The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport is hoping the Bridgetown Port will become the home port for the cruise ship Viking Star as early as next season, which begins in November.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy expressed that wish during a plaque exchange ceremony when the ship made its inaugural visit to Barbados at the weekend.
Welcoming the vessel’s captain, Rune Lokling, and his crew to the island, Sealy encouraged them to consider Barbados as more than just a stop on their journey.
“You can just as easily home port in Barbados,” he suggested. “Barbados is very big in the home porting business . . . so why not home port Viking?”
The Minister of Tourism said Barbados could benefit significantly from such a venture – its economy in general, and manufacturers, farmers, importers and service providers, specifically.
The Viking Star is just over a year old, and Sealy noted that with Barbados being among the ship’s ports of call so early in its life on the seas, the island had the opportunity to promote itself.
The nine-deck Viking Star has a capacity of 1 405 – 930 passengers and 475 crew members. It was named the number one ocean cruise line by travel and leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2016.