Barbados is expected to record an increase in cruise passengers this winter season.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Ian Gooding-Edghill announced on Saturday that the upcoming winter 2023-2004 season is currently projecting 392 cruise calls with an estimated 715 527 passengers, up from last season’s 358 calls with 608 583 passengers.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the inaugural arrival of Carnival Venezia at the Bridgetown Port, Gooding-Edghill said the success of the cruise season will contribute to the overall growth and resilience of the tourism industry.
The Minister said that the increase in cruise passengers will further solidify Barbados as a must-visit destination for cruisers, encouraging repeat visits and extending the island’s reach to new markets.
Noting that he was delighted to welcome Carnival Venezia to Barbados’ shores, Minister Gooding-Edhgill said this season, the ship will make three calls to the Bridgetown Port, bringing with it an influx of tourists eager to explore the island.
“This not only signified economic growth for Barbados but also reinforces our position as a premier destination in the Caribbean. Carnival Cruise Lines is a long-standing cruise partner for Barbados, and just before the pandemic, the line made a weekly call to the island, homeporting out of Puerto Rico.
“This programme came to an end when the vessel was redeployed back to the US. This particular vessel, Carnival Venezia, is homeporting out of Brooklyn, New York, sailing nine-day Caribbean itineraries. This sailing is part of the special journey voyages offered by Carnival Cruise Lines, which are typically longer sailings outside of the traditional seven-night cruises. Your decision to include us in your itinerary showcases how unwavering our partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines truly is. I am confident that your passengers will be captivated by our white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, rich history, and the warmth of our people,” he said.
Gooding-Edghill thanked Carnival for being a committed partner to Barbados, illustrating the high level of commitment from the brand to the destination, considering that the cruise line has a choice of selecting ports on any itinerary.
Captain of Carnival Venezia Crecenzo ‘Enzo’ Paloma said the ship, which offers the ultimate fun Italian-style experience sailing from New York, was pleased to make its inaugural visit to Barbados.
Captain Paloma and Minister Gooding-Edghill exchanged gifts during the brief ceremony on behalf of Carnival Cruise Lines and the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, respectively.