By Linda Straker
Data from the Grenada Tourism Authority has indicated that there will be less cruise ship calls to the island for the upcoming 2015/2016 winter cruise ship season. The official season begins on 27 September 2015 with a call from Luminosa of Costa Cruises.
“The upcoming 2015/2016 cruise season is promising. So far, it spans from the 27 September 2015 to 5 May 2016. We expect 160 cruise calls. Thus far, there is a passenger capacity of 315,415 and crew capacity of 127,877,” said Mrs Nikoyan Roberts, Nautical Development Manager, who explained that “it is likely that more calls will be added to this list prior to the start of the season.”
“From 24 September 2014 to 25 April 2015, our nation received 171 cruise calls, 238,000 passengers, which illustrated an estimated expenditure of EC$26.5 million dollars,” said Roberts. There were 11 inaugural cruise calls during the past season, which Robert said signifies new business and diversification of Grenada’s cruise visitors.
Roberts said that while cruise products and services are receiving enhanced promotion, it is important that all persons involved in the industry in one way or another, ensure that Grenada retains a good reputation as a cruise destination.
“Maintaining a clean environment, giving added value in the products and services that we sell, providing memorable visitor experiences, and sharing accurate historical and cultural information on tours. Together, we can work to enhance all facets of our tourism plant,” she said.
Roberts said that the Authority is in the process of planning for major upcoming events in 2015, including the return of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Transatlantic Race, and the 50th Carriacou Regatta in August.
She disclosed that the launch party for the RORC, which has a membership of 3,500 was held in Cowes, UK on 22 May. There is also a vast media reach in the UK and other European countries, North America, and other regions of the world.
“In August we will celebrate the 50th Golden Jubilee of the Carriacou Regatta, joining the revitalisation of boatbuilding traditions, and the excitement of racing workboats and the world-famous Carriacou sloops. We anticipate the usual support from the Grenadine islands and neighbouring island-nations,” she said, while disclosing that the recent launch of the documentary “Vanishing Sails”, which documents the boatbuilding tradition in Carriacou, is timely.