(St. George’s, Grenada) 24th October 2017— The 2017/2018-cruise ship season will officially begin on Wednesday 25th October,2017 with the inaugural arrival of the Pullmantur cruises Zenith. The ship is expected to dock at the St. George’s cruise port from 9am with a capacity of 1,828 and 620 crew. Though the 25th is a public holiday, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is encouraging all taxi drivers, tour operators, vendors and citizens to warmly welcome our visitors.
Pullmantur Zenith is the first of 10 inaugural cruise ship visits for the new season compared to five for the 2016/17 season. The other inaugurals are: Viking Sky, Norwegian Pearl, Island Princess, Silver Muse, Aegean Odyssey, Norwegian Jade, Silhouette, MSC Fantasia and Tui Discovery 2. The busiest months for the season are December 2017 and January 2018. In December, 64 calls are expected with ship capacity of 102,290 passengers and crew capacity of 40,649 while in January 2018 a total of 106,245 passengers and 39,904 crew members are expected from 58 calls. The ship with the largest capacity is P&O Cruises Britannia with a passenger capacity of 4,324 and crew capacity of 1,398.
Overall, 272 calls are expected this season with a projected total of 432,060 passengers and 163,356 crew members while in the last season, 225 calls were expected bringing 304,201 passengers and 111,998 crew members. Despite, the recent cancellation of additional calls from Carnival Fascination, Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean will welcome 18 extra cruise calls as a result of the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria with the additional brands being Costa Cruises, P&O, Seabourn Cruise Lines, Windstar Cruises, and MSC Cruises. Carnival Fascination has been chartered by the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide housing for relief personnel working in the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist in the recovery process. The upcoming season was already showing promising projected growth of 27% compared to last winter excluding the cancelled calls.
CEO of the GTA Patricia Maher shared her excitement about the upcoming season saying, “With new and innovative on shore excursions and the ever present charm of the Grenadian people, Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean is sure to leave a positive lasting impression with our cruise ship visitors.”