Consumer demand will decide whether Royal Caribbean International (RCI) utilizes Nassau as a homeport for the long term, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley said yesterday.
Bayley, who spoke to members of the media in a virtual press conference, said the company is optimistic about the move, which he said will have an enormous boost on the local economy.
“We’ve deployed Adventure of the Seas from June through to September currently,” Bayley said. “The real guidance for this will be the customer and the demand that we see for the product. I think it could be the beginning of something quite interesting, quite exciting and new and we’re going to have to see.
“We believe there is a lot of demand… in this situation pent-up demand, but then we introduce a product and we watch how our customers respond and I think this is going to be responded to extremely well.
“We’re very optimistic about this and I think it’s very much attached to the longer term future for The Bahamas as a destination, with the work that’s going on in Nassau with the port development, with our investments in Perfect Day, with our investment and future development of the Grand Lucayan in Freeport. These are all really strong signals in how we see the future development of cruise tourism.”
RCI will have its first cruise ship leave from the Port of Nassau on June 12.
According to Bayley, there is the potential for almost 2,000 people to move through Nassau’s airport every weekend when the cruises begin, stimulating economic activity from the airport to Downtown Nassau.
He also added that the Adventure of the Seas will be provisioned and fueled on Grand Bahama, creating opportunities for that island as well.
The cruise ship, which sets sail from Nassau’s cruise port, will visit Grand Bahama, CocoCay and Cozumel, Mexico.
RCI joins Crystal Cruises in using Nassau as a new homeport for the embarkation and debarkation of cruise passengers, as cruise lines continue to work with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preparing to sail from US ports once again.