Cruise Interest in The Bahamas Remains Strong As Industry Expected to Grow
Fort Lauderdale, Florida -March 9, 2018 – More than 11,000 cruise and maritime industry professionals from around the world attended the recent Seatrade Cruise Global Conference at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, March 5-8, 2018.
Among the professionals were Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) Dionisio D’Aguilar and Frankie Campbell, Minister of Transportation and Local Government.
While at the conference, the Bahamas delegation met with cruise executives of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Carnival and Disney Cruise Lines as well as executives of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).
In addition to high level meetings, Ministers D’Aguilar and Campbell attended forums on the state of the global cruise industry as well as several geopolitical cruise sessions.
The Bahamas Maritime Authority along with the MOTA sponsored a cocktail reception for over 600 cruise industry executives at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort.
The culturally infused reception, hosted by Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and Seatrade, featured live Bahamian music performed by Paul Bodie and the Island Force Band, conch fritters, goombay smash, Kalik drinks and a junkanoo rush out by the Valley Performing Stars.
The Islands of The Bahamas were also recognized for its unwavering commitment and support to the cruise industry during the FCCA gala reception and dinner held at the Hilton Hotel.
According to Minister D’Aguilar, The Bahamas remains one of the top preferred destinations for cruise passengers to the Caribbean.
“We are well positioned to receive a large percentage of the projected 30 million cruise passengers in the months and years ahead and are working on programs to ensure that our visitors’ experience remains inviting, pleasant, authentic and enjoyable,” he said.
“Plans are underway to reopen Festival Place at the Prince George Dock by summer of 2018. Festival Place is home to over 45 local artisans who make Bahamian souvenirs, arts and crafts. Plans are also underway to expand the port of Nassau in order to accommodate newer and larger cruise vessels, interested in calling on The Bahamas. The creation of a ‘living city’ boardwalk along the sea wall, from Prince George Dock to Paradise Island Bridge is also planned to ignite life on Bay Street.”
Additional cruise lines are expected to call on Nassau, Bimini and Grand Bahama beginning as early as Fall 2018 through 2020.
The premier industry event of the year, the Seatrade Cruise Global conference has for more than 30 years, brought together global government officials, port authorities, tourism agencies, industry suppliers and cruise executives from around the world, to analyze trends, discuss current issues and conduct cruise business.
Currently, The Bahamas is home to seven port of calls for the cruise lines, including: Nassau, Freeport, Castaway Cay, Coco Cay, Great Stirrup Cay, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.