|Minister of International Business and International Trade, George Hutson (right), presenting Captain of the Kristina Katarina, Mikko Partanen, with a plaque commemorating his vessel’s inaugural visit to Barbados. (A. Miller/BGIS)????|
The Government of Barbados is working assiduously to improve its home-porting facility, so that more cruise ships visiting the island would be able to take new passengers on board from the Bridgetown Port.??
Minister of International Business and International Trade, George Hutson, disclosed this today during the inaugural visit of the Finnish cruise ship, the M/S Kristina Katarina, to the island.
Speaking on board the vessel, while it was berthed at the Bridgetown Port, he explained: "We are in the process of planning a new facility that would increase the opportunities for home-porting in terms of the actual infrastructure, and hopefully we can have that available within a two year period or so."
The Minister also commended the Captain of the Kristina Katarina for home-porting here during this winter season, and for plans to use the Bridgetown Port as its home-port for the same period next year.?? This action, he acknowledged, was a significant boost, not only for the cruise tourism industry but for arrivals at the airport as well.??
"I note that you are home-porting here, that is taking persons on board who are flying directly to Barbados and joining the ship here.?? That is significant for us … because it allows our airport facility to benefit from the [arrival of] passengers," he said.
Captain of the vessel, Mikko Partanen, expressed his pleasure at joining the cruise industry in Barbados and noted that it was a historical moment for both Finland and Barbados.?? "It is the first time ever that a Finnish ship with a Finnish flag, a Finnish crew and Finnish passengers has come into the Caribbean area," he pointed out.??
The Kristina Katarina has a 240 passenger capacity, and is expected to make bi-weekly visits to this country.??Its itinerary also includes a number of other Caribbean countries.