Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy (right) during a tour at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal.
(A. Gaskin/BGIS)

The saying goes that ???there’s never a dull moment in Barbados’ and that certainly was the case today when more than 12,000 cruise passengers and over 4,000 crew members made their way onto the streets of Bridgetown.

This Country’s Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy, noted that three of the vessels here were homeporting – where Barbados is the starting point of the cruise.?? He remarked:

??"One of those vessels is Finnish, which is new, and there’s also the Aida which is homeporting out of Germany; so [there are] three aircraft, coming from Germany here, and bringing passengers and [returning].?? They are doing that for the first time this season, so that is significant.??

"In fact, [it’s] the type of business that we are trying to get more of here in Barbados.?? There are plans, as you would be aware, for a new cruise terminal, with an emphasis on homeporting.?? So, I think it’s encouraging that we are seeing greater interest from other parts of Europe, to have vessels based here for Caribbean cruises," Mr. Sealy offered.

Emphasising the benefits to homeporting cruises, Minister Sealy listed some them, including the fact that "passengers stay longer – when they come here and they check in to their [cruise] cabins, they get to spend 24 hours, and in the case of the Friday/Saturday air-sea transfer, they are here Friday night.??

"So they can go and dine, go to Oistins… [take in] the action in Holetown and other parts of Barbados. That way, the destination gets more out of it… [In addition] there are some companies, mainly large companies, I would admit, but there are opportunities for other companies to benefit as well.??

Building on the existing relationship with cruise lines and creating new ties -as is being done to create new airlift opportunities – will also continue to be a key focal point, as the Tourism Minister revealed that "we hope to be in a position very soon to make an announcement of a new vessel, a very large vessel, on the scale of the Ventura, which has close to 5,000 passenger and crew, that, from next winter season, will be homeporting here as well.??

"We are at the advanced stages of negotiations where that is concerned. So, Barbados does have a very serious comparative advantage where homeporting is concerned," he said.

The Tourism Minister also noted that homeporting dovetailed with the long stay tourism aspect, "where persons either cruise, then stay on the island or spend part of their vacation time here and cruise out."??

The Kristina Katarina cruise ship serves as the backdrop during Krosfyah’s performance at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal.

Labelled as one of the days with the highest number of cruise ship calls for the 2012 cruise season, today was a special one highlighted by entertainment from Krosfyah on the dockside and a mixology session sponsored by Mount Gay Rum.

Minister Sealy, and a contingent of representatives including the chairman and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Adrian Elcock and David Rice, respectively, toured the cruise terminal and also visited the dockside, where the seven ships: Aida Luna; Caribbean Princess; Crystal Symphony; Kristina Katarina; Silver Cloud; Ventura; and Freewinds were berthed.


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