On Sunday, June 12, Nassau Cruise Port welcomed 20,210 passengers and celebrated one year since the restart of cruising to Nassau began. Adventure of the Seas, a Voyager-class vessel operated by Royal Caribbean International, was the first cruise ship to call on Nassau after the major cruise lines voluntary shut down the industry in March 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19. The highly anticipated visit, which took place on June 12, 2021, was the second cruise ship call made in North America and the Caribbean since the shutdown.
This year, Nassau Cruise Port welcomed six ships on the same date as the 2021 restart – Norwegian Sky, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Magic, Carnival Freedom, and two Royal Caribbean vessels – Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.
Mike Maura, Jr., CEO of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., described his team’s excitement in achieving this milestone. “We could not have asked for a better way to commemorate the restart of cruising than a six-ship day with over 20,000 passengers in port. We have welcomed 553 calls so far this year, which is 145 calls more than we received from June to December 2021. This puts us on a healthy track to finish the year with over 1,100 calls. As of last Sunday, more than 1.8 million passengers have visited Nassau since June 2021 and the numbers continue to climb.”
In 2023, Nassau Cruise Port aims to welcome over four million passengers – 200,000 more than the 3.8 million who visited the port in 2019. “We are extremely grateful to our employees, cruise line partners, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and other government supporters, port stakeholders, and of course, the guests who have helped us get to this point. We have come a long way since March 2020, and we have much to celebrate as we complete the reimagining of the waterfront and bring even more passengers to little Nassau.”
“As those who live and work in the area can see, we are making excellent progress on the construction with the Arrivals Terminal and Junkanoo Museum steadily rising above the port. Our general contractor has already laid the foundations for the new Authentically Bahamian Market boutiques for fifty local small retailers and other parts of the Port Plaza that will feature uniquely Bahamian businesses.
“Downtown Nassau is still recovering from the COVID shut down, but most of the stores have reopened,” he continued. “Hundreds of people are back at work, and on a six-ship day like last Sunday, the downtown core is as busy and vibrant as ever. With the promise of our project and other potential activities for downtown on the horizon, our future remains extremely bright in Nassau.”