Cruise ship home porting generating added stayover business for NP

Almost half of the cruise passengers who disembarked Royal Caribbean International’s inaugural home porting voyage from New Providence following the completion of their cruise, spent an extra night on the island, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed yesterday, touting the immediate advantages home porting is already bringing to the country.

Speaking to the media, D’Aguilar explained that while the home porting initiative is temporary, it will provide positive outcomes for the few months that both Royal Caribbean and Crystal Cruises will use Nassau as their port of departure, including the tourist who will spend more time in The Bahamas than the typical cruise passenger.

“Home porting is extremely advantageous. We always knew that it was going to be a temporary measure until mainland cruising resumed. It has been a great stopgap measure. Obviously we would like for it to continue,” D’Aguilar said. 

He has suggested to the cruise lines on several occasions to consider Nassau as a home port option beyond the several months planned. 

He touted the benefits of having cruise lines beginning their multi-day cruises from The Bahamas, noting that the extra day passengers spend in New Providence means a further injection of money into the pockets of Bahamian business people and hotels.

“Home porting is very economically impactful on the economies it touches. Is it going to continue indefinitely? I guess time will tell,” he said.

“The cruise lines always indicated it would be for three or four or five months and then they would see. It is invariably cheaper for a cruise passenger to commence their cruise in the United States, because 50 percent of cruise passengers drive to the ship.”

Crystal Cruises begins its inaugural home porting voyage on its seven-night, all-Bahamas cruise this weekend.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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