As tourism continues to reopen worldwide, Barbados’ cruise sector has made a progressive step towards a strong return by welcoming fully vaccinated travellers back to the island.
On Monday, June 7, 2021, the Celebrity Millennium became the first ship to arrive under the new protocols for cruises dedicated to fully vaccinated travellers. The protocols have been vetted and approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Social Partnership of Barbados, to ensure the continued safety of all Barbadians and visitors.
The Celebrity Millennium is sailing from Philipsburg, St. Maarten on a 7-night itinerary, with Barbados as its first port of call. Its arrival, with over 500 fully vaccinated travellers, marks the first official cruise passenger ship call to Barbados for the year. The ship is sailing at less than 50% of its usual capacity.
“As we reopen our borders and look to restart tourism on island, the health and safety of Barbadians and visitors remains paramount to what we do and how we do things,” said Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins.
“These cruise arrangements have come after months of careful planning at the level of our local health officials; the America’s Cruise Task Force, where we considered both the CDC sail orders and the EU Healthy Sail Guidelines; and even the Social Partnership of Barbados which created a sub-committee dedicated to cruise. We are therefore confident that the implementation of these new protocols will give fully vaccinated travellers cruising to Barbados the opportunity to safely enjoy the destination once more.”
Meanwhile, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Port Inc. are working together to steadily rebuild the destination’s tour complement under the guidance of the new protocols, as they prepare for the upcoming winter season.
Vice-President, Destination Development at Royal Caribbean Group (RCCL), Josh Carroll, added “We are so excited to return to Barbados for the first time in over a year. Every painstaking, carefully measured step was taken to ensure that we protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the residents of this treasured destination and we are thankful to the Barbados Government for its leadership and support to make this important milestone a reality. This exciting new itinerary offers vacationers so many fresh ways to experience the southern Caribbean and showcase all the splendours of Barbados’ history, culture and cuisine.”
To commemorate the occasion, a small delegation of RCCL executives were met by Government officials on Monday at the Bridgetown Port for a brief welcome and plaque exchange, in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols.