All cruise ship calls to the Cayman Islands were canceled until further notice.
Officials confirmed on Wednesday that the ship call at Grand Cayman wouldn't happen because of the public anxiety over the recent COVID outbreaks on cruise ships, especially with the Omicron variant.
Premier Wayne Panton stated that as a response to a question on CMR’s Premier Access show, referring to the cruise ship arrivals to the Cayman Islands. Prior to this, a week earlier, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan revealed that the visit would be safe.
“The risk profile and the circumstances and the potential benefit that you thought was going to happen look less likely to materialize and the risk profile looks likely to shift against you, so we have taken a position that we are not going to proceed with this cruise ship visit. Unfortunately, it will have some impact on some folks, but by and large most people probably feel it would not be the right time and reflects mixed messaging.”
The announcement was criticized by some because it was made on a social media platform, instead of on the publicly funded government channel CIGTV or on an official press briefing.
Last month, The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Transport announced the arrival of the first ship to George Town (Grand Cayman Island). However, for now, the plans to restart the industry in this island nation have to wait.
George Town is one of the most popular western Caribbean cruise ports. It has remained closed to cruise ships since the crisis started. The Caymans' other islands visited by cruise ships are Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.