Cruise ships displaced by storms to call on Grenada
St George's, Grenada:
A total of 28 additional cruise ships will dock in Grenada, owing to displacement from other Eastern Caribbean ports damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The island received the first vessel last Tuesday, the Carnival Fascination, which was scheduled to dock in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
Already, the country was projecting an increase of 26 per cent in cruise arrivals for 2017, up from 305,841 to 385,710 passengers. However, those numbers have been bolstered, and they will now welcome 450,000 this year.
The cruise lines are Carnival, Costa, P&O (formerly Peninsula and Oriental), Seabourn, Wind Star and MSC, says CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, while addressing the media at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (#SOTIC2017) at the Radisson Beach Resort in St George's yesterday morning.
"We received the first of the extra cruise passengers last Tuesday and we made sure to welcome them properly to the island. They left here singing our praises," she stated, adding that Grenada was not celebrating the loss of its Caribbean neighbours, but it was important to note that, originally, the passengers had not booked Grenada.
"The onus was on us to ensure their visit was memorable."
Cruise shipping is doing so well for Grenada, as of October 27, a number of new lines will make inaugural calls on the island. They include: Pullmantur Zenith, Thomson's TUI Discovery, MSC Fantasia, Celebrity Silhouette, Norwegian Jade, Aegean Odyssey, Silversea's Silver Muse, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Pearl and Viking Sky.
On the other hand, tourism officials on the island, which will open its first luxury hotel in 25 years, the Silver Sands at Grand Anse Beach, say between January and September, there was a 13.37 per cent (46,010) increase in stayover arrivals from the US when compared to the same period in 2016 (40,583).
The Canadian market is also improving, although not in double digits.
"We had a six per cent (9,931) increase in arrivals from Canada when compared to 2016 (9,931)," stated Maher.
For the first eight months of the year, the country welcomed 100,815 stopover visitors.