FREEPORT, Grand Bahama Island – Today marked a joyous occasion for thousands of avid travelers that have for the greater part of three months been in sheer anticipation of the return of one o Grand Bahama’s most enjoyable cruise services operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines.
The MV Grand Celebration sailed into the Freeport Harbor at 7:45am, bringing with it some 1,083 passengers from the Port of Palm Beach. Executives from the Ministry of Tourism were joined by representatives from Bahamas Customs and Immigration and the Royal Bahamas Police Force to receive the visitors in grand style. Of the passengers onboard the vessel, 248 (stopover visitors) will be spending a minimum of 24 hours enjoying all that the island has to offer. The 1800 passenger capacity vessel brings with it a new experience for vacationers, including 5 swimming pools and Jacuzzis, 11 Restaurants, bars and lounges, 751 cabins, a spa and wellness center.
Director of Operations in the Bahamas Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Terrance Roberts recognized the economic impact of this new vessel and its increased capacity, stating that it is “expected to deliver approximately 300,000 passengers annually to GBI in addition to an increase in room nights through their exclusive “cruise and stay” packages of some 129,000 nights. Not only will there be an increase in business to Grand Bahama but there will be an immediate creation of some 300 new jobs, some of which will include positions as crew members, on board entertainers in addition to other entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians.”
Betty Bethel, Director for the Grand Bahama Tourist Office in speaking to ongoing partnership between the cruise line and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism acknowledged that “The Ministry of Tourism’s role must also be to ensure that the on island deliverables to these valued guests are of superior standards and quality. We continue to promote and influence training programmes that will address service standards across the board, as this is the critical area that can make Grand Bahama Island stand out as a viable tourism destination. The new Grand Celebration, with its increased capacity, will generate over $200,000 in room revenue every sailing. We appreciate this partnership, as it has the ability to positively impact our economy every time it calls on our shore. The Ministry of Tourism continues to appeal to Grand Bahamians to prepare for these opportunities by improving and qualifying themselves”.
The MV Grand Celebration will sail every other day from the Port of Palm Beach to the Freeport Harbor.