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An aerial view of the Port of Bridgetown, which is a facility managed by Barbados Port Inc (Photo; Cruise Mapper)

Royal Caribbean to call Port of Bridgetown home

An aerial view of the Port of Bridgetown, which is a facility managed by Barbados Port Inc (Photo; Cruise Mapper)

Royal Caribbean International will make Bridgetown its home port for the first time in December this year when it begins the 2021-22 winter season, which will include three new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St Vincent.

The cruise line will offer travellers three distinct seven- and 14-night itineraries that showcase “fresh ways to experience” the southern Caribbean on its Grandeur of the Seas.

Grandeur of the Seas (Photo: Travel News)

“We are excited to grow our longstanding partnership with Barbados and introduce Bridgetown as Royal Caribbean’s newest home port. Sailing from the heart of the Windward Islands unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breath-taking places, such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and now St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, stated in a release recently.

“The pink-sand beaches and unexpected adventures across Barbados also make it an ideal destination for our guests to experience even more of the Caribbean charm and culture before or after their cruise,” he added.

President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Michael Bayley sits on a boat with the cruise liner Harmony of the Sea serving as a backdrop. (File photo)

Southern Caribbean stops

In addition to stops in the Eastern Caribbean, Grandeur of the Seas will embark on weeklong sailings with opportunities to island hop to a different destination every day or offer late-night stays in the famed ABC islands — Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

On its longer jaunts, guests can enjoy overnight stay in Aruba coupled with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, among others.

In response to the news that Barbados will become Royal Caribbean’s new home port for the upcoming season, Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados Senator Lisa Cummins said, “After the year the industry and region have had, this is a shining light to look forward to this coming winter season.”

Minister of Tourism and International Travel for Barbados Senator Lisa Cummins
(File photo)

“We have wanted to see for some time more homeporting operations from Barbados, the incorporation of pre- and post-stay vacations which expose cruisers to the best Barbados has to offer and at a regional level, the development of new itineraries that elevate the cruise experience throughout the Caribbean,” she continued.

Barbados welcomes home Grandeur of the Seas

According to Royal Caribbean, the inaugural season sailing from Barbados will add even more variety to the cruise line’s current offering as it will offer passengers new experiences.

With its rich history and culture of hospitality, Barbados — affectionately known as “Little England” — will offer adventure-seekers diverse experiences to choose from across the country’s 11 parishes. The island — a mix of coastal, rural and urban neighborhoods, some sophisticated and luxurious, others immersive and based in nature — spans 166 square miles of between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

“…we are extremely pleased to extend the welcome mat for Grandeur of the Seas to Barbados. We are looking forward to displaying our Bajan hospitality, wide range of accommodations, rich culture, diversity of experiences, world class cuisine, unique attractions, and especially want to share the warmth of the Barbadian people. These are the things that keep visitors coming back for more!” Senator Cummins said.