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Return Of Cruise Ships Still Undecided - Wells

Transport Minister Renward Wells.

Transport Minister Renward Wells.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

MINISTER of Transport Renward Wells said yesterday that while the government is still discussing when commercial cruise ships will be allowed entry into the country, “it’s not going to happen” until the country’s economy has been re-opened.

Speaking ahead of a Cabinet meeting yesterday, he told reporters: “As you know the competent authority under the emergency orders is the entity that is making those decisions, there has been a request from a number of cruise lines as to whether or not they can resume services.

“The government of the country is looking as to when that can happen, but it’s not going to happen before we actually open up the economy.”

Last month, the government closed the country’s seaports to regional and international seafaring and private boats to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus. Only cargo ships are allowed entry into the country.

On Monday, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said that sailings to the Bahamas will resume on June 13 for its Grand Celebration vessel, and on July 10 with the Grand Classica.“We appreciate the support of our valued guests, partners, regulatory agencies, staff and crew during this challenging time,” said Oneil Khosa, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s chief executive. “We are utilising this time to ensure that we are ready for our guests once we resume cruising.

“Travellers will be seeking a quick and safe getaway once leisure travel fully restores, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard for a unique, short-cruise getaway to paradise.”

When asked whether the dates had been approved by officials, the minister replied: “They may like to resume in June but obviously, as the prime minister constantly says, we’re going to be guided by the medical professionals as to whether or not when we’re going to open the economy.”Speaking in the House of Assembly on Monday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said his National COVID-19 Coordination Committee has began planning for the gradual reopening of the country, a process consisting of six phases that officials surmise will culminate in the resumption of international travel and full operation of hotels.

Acknowledging that the Bahamas will have to live with the COVID-19 threat for the foreseeable future, Dr Minnis added: “For the immediate term at least, we will need protocols and a strategy that will allow us to re-open our society and our economy in a way that protects the health and well-being of Bahamians and residents. We must establish and adhere to a way of doing things that will allow us to open back up in a responsible manner.

“Such re-opening will be gradual and deliberate. At each step, proper health and physical distancing protocols will be mandatory and will be enforced.

“…This is not the time to be timid. This is the time to be bold. This is the time to be courageous,” he charged. “We are in a new era, so we must think in new ways and think outside of the narrow confines of what is necessary or possible.”

Comments

Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

Who in their right mind would board a cruise ship at any time in the foreseeable future? I don’t think the minister should worry anytime soon.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 1 week ago

Millions of American morons, that's who...

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truetruebahamian 3 months, 1 week ago

Millions of cheap American cruise morons who give nothing to our economy and only cost us dearly. Sink those mega shipe for artificial reefs and at least give the fish a place to live and play.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 1 week ago

Better not happen until there's a cure or vaccine. There are millions of morons in the US who can't wait to go cruisin again. Don't leave it up to them, keep us closed until we know its safe. And don't takr the Americans word for when its safe either, they lie. Now with trump in charge all they do is lie....

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

I respectfully disagree. But I do agree that millions of American morons visit the Bahamas every year, where they’re stupid enough to spend about $1.3 billion a year.

Who needs all those morons and their filthy dollars? You’re right, we should ban ALL of them!

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 1 week ago

Look, if you can't understand the points being made stay out of the conversation....

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

We need to get back to a common-sense economy where we all grow tomatoes and sell them to each other! Ammirite? Nod once for yas, twicet for no.

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

No more mega cruise ships, whether or not they are carriers of this particular virus FULL STOP

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

No more mega cruise ships, whether or not they are carriers of this particular virus FULL STOP.. Does THIS politician possess any sense?

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

Recommendation for aircraft arrivals? ‘Cause way more tourists arrive by air than by cruise ship.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

Only because we allow the cruise ships to beat the pants off the air arrival vistors on pricing at our very great expense!

These cruise ships should never be allowed to open their onboard casinos and shops for passenger business while in our territorial waters without the sales dollars collected attracting the same taxes, fees, etc. that would be paid by any visitor who arrives by air travel and shops onshore. Furthermore, the same hotel room taxes, fees, etc. paid by an air travel visitor should apply for each night that a cruise ship passenger spends in his her cabin while in our territorial waters.

We have shot ourselves in the foot by giving the very greedy cruise ship companies too many concessions that create a most unfair pricing advantage over those visitors who arrive by air travel and stay in our onshore hotels.

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

Clamshell, the aircraft don't destroy our marine environment, they only pollute the skies!

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

Runoff from all those miles of asphalt airport runways ... right into the sea. Most Out Islands airports are right on the water, as is LPIA. Every time it rains ... bleech.

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truetruebahamian 3 months, 1 week ago

? what on earth are you talking about?

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