T&T’s tourism sector is due to receive a further boost in activity with the beginning of the cruise season.
Tobago House of Assembly Tourism Secretary Tashia Burris, in a post on Sunday, said the cruise season had officially begun with the arrival of the ship at Scarborough Port.
Burris wrote that would be the vessel’s maiden call and it was estimated to bring 1,000+ visitors to the island’s shores. Passengers were welcomed by various cultural performers, local artisans, and other industry stakeholders.
She added the season was scheduled to extend through to April 17, 2023, with a number of maiden cruise ship calls throughout, including Rhapsody of The Seas' docking.
On Sunday, November 20, Trinidad welcomed its first cruise ship, Oceania Insignia, to Port of Spain. Tourism Trinidad hosted an official ceremony on Monday to welcome Royal Caribbean's liner Rhapsody of the Seas.
Speaking of the restart of the cruise season, Charles Carvalho, manager of the local agent for cruise ships, Carvalho’s, said it had been exactly 32 months T&T had been without any cruise ships.
Rhapsody of the Seas was back after ~20 years, and according to Carvalho, people needed to be mindful, that in about 2 to 3 years, the cruise companies would be upgrading to larger ships, which unfortunately wouldn't be able to berth in T&T. Trinidad and Tobago had "to make accommodations now in order to stay in the business long term, because Carnival cruise line is also building bigger ships."
Speaking to reporters Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell said that while he did not have the exact number of tourists each line would bring, MSC Cruises might bring ~3,500-4,000 and Rhapsody of the Seas, ~2,500-3,000.
Both Trinidad and Tobago are expecting to see a total of 71 cruise ship calls, with a total of 28 arriving in Trinidad’s Cruise Ship Complex (Port of Spain), and 43 in Tobago's Scarborough and Charlotteville ports.
During these 6 months of the cruise season, it is expected that 126,962 cruise passengers and 47,570 crew will dock at the ports of the twin islands.