New Year New Cruise Lines: MS Oriana Inaugural Call
On Thursday, January 17th, Grand Bahama Island received its first inaugural cruise call for the year, from the MS Oriana, at the Freeport Harbour.
With a total 1,750 guests on board, the captain and crew were warmly welcomed by officials from the Freeport Harbour Company, Bahamas Customs, Freeport Ship Services, Bahamas Immigration, and the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (MOTA).
Being at full capacity, the ship and its guests made the unscheduled call from the port of Hamilton, Bermuda after departing its home harbour in Southampton, UK.
Allan Hawkins, Captain, MS Oriana, said, “We’re on a 35-night Caribbean Central American cruise ...so this is the start of our Caribbean adventure.”
With a robust kick off to the new year, Charles Rolle, Operations Manager, Freeport Harbour Company, said, “It’s always a delight for us to have additional cruise calls. It goes well for not just the harbour, but [for] the vendors, the tenants, and all the merchants that benefit — and the wider community.”
“We are always welcoming, and we always remain open for these unscheduled calls,” added Forbes.
A goal being to consistently increase the number of ships that visit the destination each year, Nuvolari Chotoosingh, Manager, Niche Markets and Maritime, MOTA, said that “Anytime we get an unscheduled call, it’s great for us. It’s extra business for the island, as all the stores, the bars, the restaurants get an opportunity to make funds that they would not have ordinarily made if the ship had not made this stop.”
The MS Oriana was originally built in 1995. This particular itinerary takes passengers through a total of twelve ports throughout the duration of the cruise.
Hawkins noted that the ship is due for another call to the Freeport Harbour in the month of March; however, the cruise route and duration will slightly differ.