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Barbados wins Seatrade Cruise Destination Of The Year Award


Barbados wins Seatrade Cruise Destination Of The Year Award
Taxi operators in the Bridgetown Port expect a difficult summer. (FILE)

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Barbados has won the Seatrade Cruise Awards Destination Of The Year Award.

This year’s winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, celebrating the 14th edition during the first Seatrade Cruise Virtual.

The other entrants for this category were Cruise Copenhagen and St Kitts and Nevis. Barbados won for its homeporting efforts, “warmth and hospitality” during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The programme, once again, received a record number of nominees recognising the best in international cruise industry success, ambition and innovation,” says Mary Bond, group director, Seatrade Cruise. “We congratulate our outstanding awards recipients, and express gratitude to our independent panel of judges for their devoted effort to selecting our winners.”

The awards, sponsored by Oracle Hospitality, were presented by Bond; Ingo Soerensen, Area VP, Global Cruise Sales, Oracle Hospitality; as well as Cruise Baltic’s Claus Bodker and V. Ships Leisure’s Per Bjornsen.

Following is the entry by Cruise Barbados:

“Barbados, known as the gem of the Caribbean Sea, has earned this nickname not only because of its beautiful beaches and diverse experiences, but also because of the warmth, kindness, and hospitable nature of its people. Barbados has always been a popular cruise destination, offering an authentic onshore experience that allows visitors to learn, do, taste, and feel so much in as little as four hours. However, Barbados’ popularity has been renewed within the cruise industry during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With hundreds of ships at sea following CLIA’s temporary shutdown on cruising, and with rejection from other Ports, this little gem in the Caribbean Sea remained a place where homeporting cruise lines like AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and more, could call home and find safe haven, warmth, and hospitality during the biggest crisis this industry has ever seen.

As the island faced its own challenges with COVID-19 cases, under the guidance of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, protocols were devised to keep its residents safe. Additionally, more than thirty- five ships were able to collaborate with the Bridgetown Port and the broader destination to repatriate crew. To show appreciation for Barbados’ support of the cruise industry, the crew members of AIDAperla said ‘Thank You’ by staging a beautiful light display reading ‘Thank You BB’ while waving from the deck as the ship departed the Bridgetown Port.

Barbados’ actions during COVID-19 are a testament to its unwavering support of cruise tourism. The island not only promotes cruise tourism through its close partnerships with leading cruise lines, the FCCA, and CLIA but has also developed enticing late evening experiences, so that passengers from ships with later departure times can enjoy much more of the island after dark.

One of these customised cruise experiences, located within walking distance of the port in Bridgetown – a designated UNESCO World Heritage site – is known as Festive Fridays, a night market featuring the best in food, music, craft, and dance. Prior to the pandemic shutdown, Festive Fridays had become popular with overnighting ships from the U.K.

Barbados’ 166 square miles is filled with more attractions than any other Caribbean island. From its rich combination of culture, heritage, adventure, sport, cuisine, shopping, and hallmark attractions, Barbados has something for everyone. For the nature traveler, the island offers picturesque trails in breathtaking forests, captivating caves, gardens, and gullies, as well as coastal cliffs with intriguing histories. For the exploratory traveler, the island provides ample watersports, culinary and community experiences.

If you’ve ever dreamed of living where you vacation, Barbados is making it a reality with the Barbados Welcome Stamp. This recently launched 12-month visa gives visitors the opportunity to work remotely from their home country in Barbados. These longer stay visitors will now be able to utilize cruising to explore the beautiful neighboring islands in this enchanting archipelago, all from the homeporting hub, this precious little gem of the Caribbean Sea, Barbados.” (PR)