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Port has cruise protocols in place

Gercine Carter

Port has cruise protocols in place
The AIDA Sol arrived in Barbados on Saturday with 926 passengers. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

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Chairman of the Bridgetown Port Peter Odle, said in the last few weeks and months, Barbados had extensive discussions on its COVID-19 protocols.

And with strict protocols in place, he added, “we were really trying to make sure that Barbados did not have an unnecessary spread of the COVID virus” particularly in light of the presence of the Delta variant.

“As far as we can see, and all the stats have shown, the cruise lines nor the airport nor people arriving have been responsible for this. Most of it has been community spread, Barbadians coming back in from visits overseas. We have tried to remain as positive as we can, Barbados has it under control and the numbers will start to recede shortly.”

He was speaking on Saturday morning when the cruise ship Aida Sol made its inaugural call at the Bridgetown Port, the third such call by a cruise line in three days. Odle said the port expected 335 cruise ship visits this season.

The ship, with a passenger capacity of over 2 198, brought 926 passengers and 620 crew. Barbados was the initial stop on the first of three 40-day AIDA Sol cruises which all start and end in Hamburg, Germany.

There was no flurry of activity in the port as the cruise terminal remained closed and no independent port taxi operators in sight. Disembarking passengers headed directly to tour buses that took them on tours pre-booked on the ship.

Captain Jorg Rudolph Miklitza told the Saturday Sun there was a demand by Germans for cruising and a lot of interest in this region. He said it was a relief for him and his crew to be sailing in the Caribbean after the prolonged period of cruise inactivity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was the customary exchange of plaques between the Captain, officials of the Bridgetown Port and the ship’s Barbados agents, Platinum Port Agency. (GC)