The Bahamas Tourist Minister announced he wanted cruise ships to not only visit private islands but the major Bahamian cities as well. According to Dionisio D’Aguilar, cruise shipping companies would initially only visit private islands (to limit exposure risks), but he hoped once the new policies were in place, cities could be visited too.
Obviously, when they commence cruising again they will not wish to come to the population centres, the Minister said. He added they would want to go to their private islands because they could control the environment. As minister of tourism, he was going to encourage them to come to the population centres because that was where they would make the most economic impact. A 3-night cruise that includes Port Nassau (New Providence Island) and a private island visit was a great short-break cruising opportunity.
Mr. D’Aguilar said cruise passengers accounted for 11% of pre-pandemic tourism spending in The Bahamas, which amounted to US$540 million in lost revenue for the country.
The thought that cruises would resume with short sailings to private islands echoed comments made by Royal Caribbean, including CEO Michael Bayley last week.