Captain Julian Burgess presents Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, with a plaque to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth‘s maiden voyage to Barbados, last Sunday, at a welcome ceremony for the luxury liner.
Opulent, breath taking and behemoth could be used to aptly describe the cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, the latest addition to the Cunard Line, which made its maiden call to Barbados last weekend.
The luxury liner, which spent Sunday in port, was officially welcomed by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy at a ceremony aboard the vessel.?? The Minister exchanged maiden voyage plaques with the ship’s captain, Julian Burgess, and explained that efforts were ongoing to ensure that quality cruise tourism remained a prominent feature of the local industry.
"We are continuing to do what we have to do to further enhance ourselves, not only as a destination, but as a cruise destination…we are in the process of finalizing a master plan to redevelop the Bridgetown port and the surrounding areas, which will include special consideration for cruise passengers," Mr. Sealy said, while alluding specifically to creating a port facility which would allow passengers to disembark within the terminal instead of port side.
The Queen Elizabeth.
He added that strengthening of the cruise sector was a definite plus for the industry overall, as a growing source market could only bode well for local tourism.
"We are very happy to see the diversification of our source market base, having flights now from western U.S.A., having service from Sao Paulo, Brazil, that also portends good things for cruises, in terms of… being able to have passengers start their cruises here and also the possibility for cruise liners from South America to be based here," the Minister commented. He said government’s goal was to continue to encourage rbados’ development to become the region’s premier cruise destination.
Chairman of the Bridgetown Port, David Harding, who was also among the welcoming party said he believed that Barbados had the potential to be the number one port in the Caribbean.
"We see new and exciting trade lanes being developed in South and Central America, and we believe that, given the kind of facilities that we intend to create here, it will make this port a super hub. ??Just as Puerto Rico is in the north, this port can become a super hub in the south," he observed.??
The Cunard Queen Elizabeth, which was commissioned this year, is served by over 900 crew members and features a passenger capacity of over 2000.?? The ship, and its 1971 passengers, will ring in the new year at sea and make its final call at Porta Delgada, Portugal, before returning to London, England, on January 5, 2011.????