Cruise Industry On The Rise In GBI
While cruise ships continue to be a major mode of transportation to and from The Islands Of The Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island has always benefitted from the booming industry.
As interest in the destination has amplified over the years, there has been an increase in the number of new cruise ships calling on Freeport Harbour.
Captain Giulio Ressa, Master of the newest ship to call on the destination- the MS Sirena said, "This is our first call and [we] thank you for the warm welcome. I believe in the future we will have more calls in Freeport and in The Bahamas in general."
He added that " We might come more regularly but with the Sirena, we want to make several calls when we come back from Europe."
With this being the ship’s first call to Grand Bahama Island, Jay Philippe, Assistant Manager, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (MOTA), GBI, said, "Seeing that we have an opportunity to leverage a partnership with a new cruise line, this means a lot as we can possibly attract more visitors and business to our island."
"Freeport is known as one of the hubs for the cruise industry and we're looking for future business so we hope that this can be a continued partnership moving forward."
The MS Sirena made its inaugural call on Saturday, May 19th, with a total of 657 passengers on board. The ship is the latest addition to the Oceania Fleet and one of the eight sister ships that belong to Renaissance Cruises.
The MS Sirena was completely refurbished in 2016 and can accommodate approximately 680 passengers at full capacity.
Ministry of Tourism & Aviation officials along with representatives from the Freeport Harbour and Freeport Ship Services were in attendance for a traditional plaque exchange.