Cruise operations resumed this week at two Caribbean ports, as Celeb Cruises’ Celeb Equinox known as on the Antigua Cruise Port on August 19 and Belize’s Harvest Caye port hosted Norwegian Gem on August 18, the primary main post-outbreak cruise exercise at every port.
Carrying “over 2,000 passengers,” Celeb Equinox docked on the St. John’s Harbour port Thursday, the place the ship was welcomed by Antigua Cruise Port, Antigua & Barbuda Port Authority and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority officers.
Celeb Equinox is the “first massive vessel to dock at St. John’s for the reason that restart of the Antigua & Barbuda cruise season in July,” mentioned port officers in a press release. “The disembarkation of passengers was fastidiously managed to scale back the chance of spreading COVID-19,” mentioned Dona Regis-Prosper, the port’s basic supervisor.
“We proceed to take care of and improve our COVID-19 danger mitigation protocols every day to make sure that our facility is as secure as attainable for each passenger on each voyage,” she mentioned. “Now we have actually missed the breathtaking sight of the colossal, bigger cruise vessels right here on the port, so we’re extraordinarily excited to welcome Celeb Equinox.”
Antigua & Barbuda just lately revised its COVID-19 protocols to require all passengers over age 12 to be vaccinated, mentioned officers. Passengers over two years previous who will not be totally vaccinated previous to embarkation are required to current a unfavourable RT PCR COVID-19 check earlier than boarding their ship.
Regis-Prosper mentioned cruise passenger shore excursions and excursions will “[Follow] the federal government’s established protocols to the letter [and] will solely function as ‘bubble’ or small group excursions. Totally vaccinated crew members shall be allowed ashore on pre-approved excursions,” she mentioned. “Now we have additionally organized escorted non-public excursions with the retailers at Heritage Quay.”
“The federal government of Antigua and Barbuda stays dedicated to rising the cruise calls to our port,” mentioned Mary-Clare Hurst, minister of state within the Ministry of Tourism and Funding. She added, “All through the pandemic now we have been working with the related authorities and cruise operators to make sure that we stay a strategic hub for security, synergy and innovation.”
“We’re so excited to return to the gorgeous island of Antigua and to proceed to assist our Caribbean household regain the advantages of tourism their communities depend upon,” mentioned Dimitris Manetas, of Celeb Equinox’s captain.
In Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 75-acre Harvest Caye devoted cruise port and personal island off the coast of Placencia welcomed Norwegian Gem on August 18, the primary name on the port since its closure in the course of the pandemic in 2020. The vessel carried 1,262 passengers and 1,067 crew onboard.
Abil Castaneda, the Belize Tourism Board’s director of high quality administration and capability growth, mentioned in native press reviews Norwegian Gem “is definitely working at 60 p.c of capability clearly due to the COVID protocols.”
Castaneda mentioned Norwegian “may be very stringent by way of their protocols in order that they have indicated that they are going to be easing of their capacities as the entire pandemic progresses.”
He added, “All [passengers] have their full vaccination and there’s no constructive circumstances on the ship so we’re all very glad with the protocols which were put in place.”
Norwegian Gem’s itinerary additionally consists of calls at Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Castaneda mentioned Belize’s well being and security protocols had been developed in cooperation with the Cruise Tourism Job Drive.