Friday 17 November, 2017

Bumper cruise season ahead for T&T

Calypsonian Black Sage serenades a tourist at the launch of the T&T Cruise Season

Calypsonian Black Sage serenades a tourist at the launch of the T&T Cruise Season

Seventy-one cruise ships are expected to visit Trinidad and Tobago this cruise ship season.

Speaking at the call of the first cruise ship, the Caribbean Princess, on Sunday, Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe said T&T was originally scheduled to receive 47 calls, 23 calls with a passenger count of 60,958 persons in Trinidad, and 24 calls with a passenger count of 75,451 persons in Tobago.

The additional calls for the 2017/2018 cruise season come as a result of the recent hurricanes which left some islands ruined. There will now be 23 additional calls to Tobago (from Seabourne Cruise Lines, Carnival UK, TUI Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruises and Thomson Cruises) and one additional call to Trinidad from the Fred Olsen Cruises.

The cruise industry is still the fastest-growing segment of the worldwide leisure travel market; experiencing an average passenger growth rate of seven percent per annum since 1980.

For the period January to June 2017, Caribbean cruise arrivals stood at 15.3 million, a 4.0 percent increase on the corresponding period of 2016. This represented the largest number of cruise passengers in the region at this time of year.

While the recent natural disasters have put a damper on this year’s cruise season, the Caribbean region, including T&T, are committed to keeping business within the region and promoting the viability of a strong Caribbean Brand.

The Ministry of Tourism treated the cruise passengers to a little taste of T&T with a fun and vibrant cultural welcome and departure. The 3,756 passengers on board, also got a taste of fruit wines, chocolate, traditional cocoa tea and other culinary delights from the Lopinot Tourism Association as well as a taste of doubles and fresh coconut water.

The Ministry of Tourism will be providing cultural entertainment throughout the season from the moment our international guests arrive.

The Craft and Shopping Market within the Port-of-Spain Cruise Complex is also showcasing the artwork of our local small entrepreneurs. Over 20 trained and highly experienced visitor guides will be strategically positioned on the streets of the capital city and on Brian Lara Promenade to offer guidance and assistance to cruise passengers who opt to explore the sites and attractions within the Port of Spain area.

There will also be translator services for passengers as some 38 percent of arrivals for 2017 are French-speaking passengers, as well as free Wi-Fi services at the Cruise Ship Hall. The Ministry of Tourism is also working with the tour operators to upgrade the variety of on-shore activities and tours available for cruise passengers.