Carnival Fascination will be back from next month. (FILE)
The familiar sight of the red, white and blue funnel of the cruise ship Carnival Fascination will be seen once again in the Bridgetown Port on February 21.
Chief executive officer of Foster & Ince Cruiseworld, Martin Ince, confirmed yesterday that the popular cruise ship would be resuming its Barbados calls next month, after a four-month absence.
“They have confirmed to us that they are coming back at the end of February, so we will be delighted to see them again,” he told the DAILY NATION.
Last September, Carnival Cruise Line announced the cancellation of all departures of Carnival Fascination. The ship was chartered to the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for close to four months to assist with relief efforts, following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated some Caribbean islands and ports on the ship’s schedule.
Carnival Fascination, along with The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s ship Grand Celebration, were used to accommodate first responders in St Thomas, the US Virgin Islands.
Barbadians booked to cruise on the popular ship were thrown into a tailspin when the cancellation was announced and most were forced to put their cruise plans on hold, while others were able to make last-minute alternative arrangements. But Carnival Cruise Line had announced all passengers would have been refunded, while apologising for the cancellations.
“We recognise how important vacations are and we sincerely apologise for the disruption this late change in plans has caused our guests and travel partners,” the company had said in a statement.
“We value your trust in us and hope you understand that this decision was made after careful consideration of the great need to support the recovery efforts in the region.”
Yesterday, Ince acknowledged the four-month absence of Carnival Fascination, which has a passenger capacity of about 2 500, had the potential to affect “the overall” projections for cruise passenger arrivals in 2017. However, he predicted Barbados should still see a “positive increase” from previous years, since other cruise ships had made new calls at Barbados during the affected period.
Carnival Fascination is scheduled to make 11 calls during the remaining winter cruise season, which ends in April. (GC)