Alt Text!

Bahamas wants cruises to return to Nassau, not just private islands

Matt Hochberg

The Bahamas Tourist Minister wants cruise ships to not only visit private islands, but the major cities of the Bahamas as well.

Dionisio D’Aguilar told Tribune Business that cruise lines will initially only visit private islands in order to limit exposure risks, but he hopes once the new policies are in place, cities can be visited too.

Obviously when they start cruising again they will not want to come to the population centres,” he conceded. “They will want to go to their private islands because they can control the environment. As minister of tourism I’m going to encourage them to come to the population centres because that’s where they will make the most economic impact.

Mr. thinks a 3-night cruise that includes a stop in Nassau, along with a private island is a great short sailing opportunity.

According to Mr. D’Aguilar, cruise passengers account for 11% of pre-pandemic tourism spending in The Bahamas, which amounts to $540 million in lost revenue for the country.

The thought that cruises will resume with short sailings to private islands echoes comments made by Royal Caribbean, including CEO Michael Bayley just last week.

"I think when we resume service, our thinking is that will probably we'll probably start with short product, Perfect Day, and that'll be the how we'll start phasing in operations."