The Port of Bridgetown welcomed two cruise ships on inaugural visits to Barbados at the start of this week.
The Marella Explorer sailed in on Sunday with a crew of 798 and 1,790 passengers. The following day, the Carnival Pride made its entry with 941 crew and 2,118 passengers.
Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds, speaking during the traditional plaque exchange ceremony on board the Marella Explorer, described statistics projected for the 2018/19 cruise season as “impressive”.
Based on current bookings, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) anticipates 400 cruise ship calls for the 2018-2019 season, of which 165 are homeporting calls. This compares to last season’s, 432 ship calls, 200 of which were homeporting calls.
Although the number of cruise ship calls is reduced this season, Barbados is projected to register an increase in cruise visitor as a result of increased ship capacity.
Homeporting passengers last season were registered at 237,849, out of a total 714,287 cruise visitors. For the 2018-2019 season, which runs November 2018 to April 2019, some 260,000 homeporting passengers are expected out of a total 721,000 cruise visitors.
Marella Cruises will be homeporting two vessels this season—the Marella Celebration and the Marella Explorer, scheduled to make 42 calls in total with a passenger capacity of 68,000. This compares to last season’s single vessel, which made 23 calls and carried 41,737 guests.
Minister Symmonds, noting that bed nights for those who fly, cruise and stay will move up to 5,000 from last year’s 3,000, said “the numbers take us a long way in the direction we want to in terms of numbers arrivals”.
The Carnival Pride sailed into Barbados on a 14-day Journeys cruise which originated in Baltimore on November 3. Journeys is a limited series of special sailings ranging in length from nine to 14 days offered by Carnival and featuring destinations that are less traveled by the line, as well as extended versions of the line’s traditional routes. (PR)