More Cruise Lines Call on Grand Bahama Island
Over the past few years, the cruise industry has seen tremendous growth on Grand Bahama Island. The construction of a new cruise port on the eastern end of the island has recently been announced, and cruise lines continue to choose Freeport’s harbour as a primary port of call.
So far, for 2019, a total of three new ships have called on the port, with two ships making an unscheduled visit in the same week.
Allory Turner, Cargo Operations Officer, Freeport Harbour Company, said,” This signifies a great step for the harbour company to have two sister ships within one week. First, it was the Aurora, then the Ventura, a part of the Carnival brand, so this is a positive for Grand Bahama Island.”
Providing a welcome boost to the economy, the upward trend in unscheduled cruise ship calls opens the destination to a whole host of new visitors.
Noting positive feedback from both vendors and guests, Nuvolari Chotoosingh, Manager, Niche Markets, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (MOTA), said, “Today’s ship has over 3,000 guests and the Aurora ship had over 1,500, so that’s quite a bit of passengers on island unscheduled.”
“That means a lot of business for us, no matter how much or how little is spent, it all adds up for us.” He added that “Carnival is one of the major cruise lines in the world...The Bahamas is one of their primary stops, and hopefully, it will be even bigger and better in the near future.”
As stated by numerous ship captains, Freeport is viewed as a great fit for cruise line itineraries. Captain Martin Banach, MV Ventura, said, “Our guests love it, because to go away from Europe is really very attractive for our guests.”
Captain David Penbridge, MV Aurora, said, “It’s wonderful to be in The Bahamas. It’s a beautiful place, it’s a relaxing place I think, and the sun always shines in The Bahamas. So, it’s fantastic to be here.”
Both the MV Ventura and the MV Aurora are based in Southhampton, UK and cater to the European Market.
A traditional plaque exchange took place on both occasions to welcome the captain and crew to Grand Bahama Island.