NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nassau Cruise Port’s chief executive said yesterday that this nation is “well-positioned” to capitalize on the cruise industry’s revival, noting that its 950 bookings for April through December are better than most ports in the Caribbean recorded annually prior to the pandemic.
Mike Maura told Eyewitness News: “On our books right now — if we were to eliminate January, February and March — for April through December, we have over 950 bookings. It still looks good.
“When we were looking back in March and April last year, and considering how we thought the pandemic would influence our cruise port, we thought we would go from 3.8 to 3.9 passengers down to 2.6 million this year.”
Carnival Cruise Line confirmed last week it will not resume sailing from US ports by the end of March, while its affiliates, Princess Cruises and Holland America, have postponed their returns through May 14 and April 30, respectively.
Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, said Monday that bookings for the first half of 2022 are running ahead of 2019 levels.
Maura noted: “We have seen that cruise lines have begun to cancel their first quarter sailings. The good news is that they are all working very closely with the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in terms of completing the various protocols required to get back to sailing with passengers.
“The fact that we have 950-plus bookings currently for Nassau is better than most ports in the Caribbean have all year in non-COVID times. We are blessed, well-positioned and we are ready.”
He added: “Nassau is a brand and a stronger brand than any other in the Caribbean. Prior to COVID, we had more calls than any other destination in the Caribbean.
“As we transition through this pandemic, we will have more calls than any other destination.”