The much anticipated return of cruise shipping in the Caribbean will be realised on June 12, 2021, when global cruise giants Royal Caribbean International will set sail from new home port, Nassau, The Bahamas.
The cruise line, the second biggest in the world behind Carnival, has announced a summer line-up of seven-night cruises on board ‘Adventure of the Seas’, where “vacationers now have the chance to island-hop and relish the adventures they have missed”.
This, the cruise line said in a press release, will include the first series of two back-to-back days on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s “game-changing” private island destination in The Bahamas, and “quality time” exploring Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico.
Bookings for the round-trip cruise, which started last week Wednesday (March 24) and which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal Caribbean Group, Richard Fain, described as “an exceptional response”, are currently going on and in anticipation of sail date, starting June 12.
“It reinforces the view that there’s an enormous amount of pent-up demand to cruise again,” Mr. Fain said in a recent video message to travel advisors and partners.
“I expect that we will soon be announcing more such itineraries,” he added.
For his part, President of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley, said that the opportunity to ‘homeport’ in The Bahamas is a testament to the tremendous partners the government and the people of the island nation “have been to us for more than 50 years”.
“We are grateful for the confidence that they have in us and our commitment to a healthy and happy return to sailing. We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely. The vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice,” he said.
Bahamian Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, said the “news that the cruise industry is going to begin homeporting in The Bahamas is exciting”.
“Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of passengers will experience Nassau or Grand Bahama in ways they never had the opportunity to before. I am especially pleased that Royal Caribbean, with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for more than 50 years, selected The Bahamas as a home port when sailing resumes. This is truly a new day for tourism. It should inspire many small to medium-sized businesses, tour operators, taxi drivers, restaurants and retailers to prepare for brighter days ahead, the best we have ever had,” he added in a statement.
Minister of Tourism & Aviation, Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, said that cruising is a vital part of The Bahamas’ economy and “having Royal Caribbean and their guests return to our shores will contribute greatly to restoring and reactivating tourism”.
“We have been preparing diligently for the last many months to ensure an experience that is equally safe and enjoyable. We are confident that cruise goers will receive the warm, friendly hospitality The Bahamas is famous for. We cannot wait to remind guests that it is still Better in The Bahamas,” he added.