Barbados has been dealt a major blow to its cruise business with the loss of two major cruise lines for the upcoming summer and winter seasons.
Executive vice-president of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Sue Springer, said yesterday the Royal Caribbean line had announced the removal of all its ships from the southern Caribbean during summer 2012, while the Sea Princess, which has been calling at Barbados weekly this winter season is to be repositioned to Australia for winter 2011-2012 under the P & O Australia brand. Royal Caribbean operates the Serenader Of The Seas.
Springer said the Royal Caribbean line had extensive tonnage in the western Caribbean, but the cost of fuel to get ships as far south as Barbados had resulted in the removal of ships.
In a telephone interview last night, Martin Ince of Foster & Ince Cruises said Barbados would lose close to 25 000 passengers brought here by the Serenader Of The Seas during the traditionally slow summer period.
The Carnival Victory will be the only cruise ship calling on Barbados during the summer months, with four calls per month, down from the current six.
Foster also said Barbados would lose about 26 000 passengers over the coming winter season as a result of the repositioning of the Sea Princess to Australia. This ship had been home-porting in Barbados over the last five or six years.