Cruise numbers jump despite no dock

| 16/06/2015 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship tender (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS Business): Despite having an airport that is prone to overcrowding, air arrival numbers in the Cayman Islands continue to creep up, while the lack of a modern cruise ship terminal is not, apparently, stopping visitors from cruising their way to the islands. As the redevelopment of Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) takes shape and plans for the proposed cruise berthing facility move toward the completion of the environmental impact assessment, figures show cruise arrivals for the month of April jumped 30% over last year.

According to the Department of Tourism, 175,225 cruise passengers arrived in April 2015, compared to 134,646 in April 2014. The number of passengers who touched down at ORIA show a very small increase for the month, just 153 more that the 35,864 recorded in April last year.

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Since the beginning of this year, cruise ship figures show 719,298 passengers came ashore, a 6.14% increase when compared to the 677,663 cruise arrivals recorded during the same period last year. Air arrivals into the country also saw an increase of 4.4%, with 151,657 passengers in the first four months of 2015 over the 145,270 travelers who arrived in January through April in 2014.

“I am very pleased to see the continued successes of our destination maintaining a competitive level of growth that will undoubtedly set us on the right path to end the year positively,” Director of Tourism Rosa Harris stated.

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“The ongoing mission of the Cayman Islands is to keep the destination at the forefront of the mind of today’s savvy traveler, which requires a constant evaluation and review from a strategic level,” Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell added.

Earlier this year government unveiled a concept designs for a $55 million renovation of ORIA. Discussion of what will be the future of George Town Harbour’s cruise berthing facility is yet to be determined.

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Category: Cruise Tourism, Featured, Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the most misleading headlines on cns to date. The ship numbers didn’t “jump” they came back up from the lowest cruise arrivals in the last 8 years.

  2. Diver Dan says:

    Mr. Miller, do you really think now is the time to destroy our coral? By the way, did you read here in CNS that cruise ship arrivals are up over 17%?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Garfield at 10:15 where do you think you will get the money to do projects like airport and Dump? We have horses and no cart.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I went on a Western Caribbean cruise many years ago and remember the tendering experience when the ship stopped in Cayman. I watched 6 boats come and fill up before getting on one, and did not reach shore until 10.30am. I think we were able to spend ~3 hours on shore before having to start the process all over again. At every other destination we walked on and off as we saw fit, and rather than feeling sentenced to be stuck on land for a minimum amount of time, thus just wandering aimlessly as our tourists do now, we ate lunch and shopped all over before boarding.

  5. The Truth, and you know it says:

    Let’s hope Mr Dart will build the port, we need it and he is the only one capable to do it right.

  6. David Miller says:

    This was in the 2013 EIA:
    Meetings were held with the cruise line representatives,
    specifically Carnival and Royal Caribbean. From their perspective,
    berthing is needed for two main reasons one being passenger
    experience and the other safety.
    With respect to passenger experience, the cruise lines have told us that
    passengers dislike tendering because of:
    the extra time required for getting on/off ship (so less time for shore
    activities)
    the need for queuing (both for getting on and off ship);
    the diminished flexibility (when there is a large volume of
    passengers, passengers are assigned a time when they can go
    ashore, they’re not free to go when they want); and
    less convenience, especially for younger and older passengers (for
    example, difficulty of getting a stroller onto the tender).
    With respect to safety, although the tender service in Cayman is
    considered to be of world class standard by the cruise lines, there is
    always a greater risk for passengers when getting to shore on a tender
    as opposed to simply walking off the ship at berth.
    Some stakeholders would like the Oasis Class cruise ships to call at the
    Cayman Island, which is not possible without a berthing facility. There is
    a very strong commercial reason to want a berth as it would give an
    additional destination to call on with large vessels.
    We can do all the EIA’s you want but the future is now. Our competitors have upped their game and so should we.

    • Garfield says:

      Yeah David, the future is now and by far the most immediate need on Grand Cayman is to solve the dump problem NOW. Get your priorities straight. We need the $150 million for the dump now not a new port for cruise ships.

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