In a major boom to hurricane-stricken Grand Bahama, Carnival Cruise Line resumed regular calls to the island beginning last Friday, Oct. 11, with Carnival Pride docking in Freeport. Carnival Elation followed on Oct. 13 and Carnival Freedom on Oct. 15.
Carnival Pride departed Baltimore on Sunday, Oct. 6 on a week-long cruise with nearly 2,400 guests. Between now and the end of the year, Carnival Cruise Line expects to host 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the destination and providing a significant impact to the local economy.
For the full year, over 400,000 guests will visit Grand Bahama on a Carnival cruise vacation aboard 10 different ships sailing from nine different U.S. homeports. More than 15 shore excursions will be offered.
“Cruise ship visits are important to the local economy and our shore excursion team has been working closely with local tour operators and has confirmed a variety of attractive onshore excursions for our guests,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival’s senior vice president of nautical and port operations.
Senator James Kwasi Malik Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, adds: “The rebuilding of Grand Bahama has begun. We welcome the return of Carnival Cruise Line back to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. Carnival is an incredible partner for the Bahamas and Grand Bahama.”
In related news, the Carnival Ecstasy arrived in Freeport last Monday to undergo an extensive 12-day dry dock at the Grand Bahama shipyard, becoming the first cruise ship to utilize the facility since Hurricane Dorian.
The company’s relief efforts include a $2 million pledge from Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, as well as relief shipments delivered by Carnival Cruise Line ships and via a partnership with Tropical Shipping. Carnival employees and guests have also donated well over $500,000 through online giving tools and collections on embarkation day and onboard.
As reported in TMI 20-41, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line was the first cruise line to bring leisure travelers back to Grand Bahama Island following Hurricane Dorian, with two-night round-trip sailings from Palm Beach beginning September 27.