The 2022/2023 cruise season officially commenced on Tuesday, November 1 2022 as Dominica welcomed the Mein Schiff 2 as the first cruise call of the season.
The Mein Schiff 2, which can carry up to two thousand, eight hundred and ninety four passengers, docked at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth carrying two thousand, four hundred and nine passengers and one thousand and one crew members.
This is the first of over two hundred expected cruise calls for this season. Officials in the tourism sector welcomed the passengers and crew with a small ceremony.
Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority (DASPA), Mr. Benoit Bardouille Says they are elated to welcome the first of twenty one calls set to be made by Mein Schiff this cruise season.
“We are elated because you are the first ship to call for the season, and not only the first ship to call for the season but the good news that comes from your company to us is that there will be twenty one calls this season, which is a significant booster for us in terms of our cruise tourism. And we look forward to you, your crew and passengers having fun and having the best time ever in Dominica,” Mr. Bardouille stated.
Mr. Bardouille encouraged the visitors to enjoy Dominica and all there is to offer, without the covid-19 protocols, which were recently fully lifted by the prime Minister.
“We know that we have come from a period where there were restrictions all over and all of these protocols. All of these are behind us now so we are asking everyone to enjoy all of what Dominica has to offer. And I can tell you Captain, that there is lots to offer; not only the products you know before but new products that we have coming on stream in terms of tourism. We are in fact in the Kalinago Barana Aute. As you know we still have the natural Kalinago Indians living in Dominica, they have their own reservation and there is still a very rich culture they have in relation to Dominica. And so it is important that as we begin the process that persons remember that Dominica does have the largest reservation of these Kalinago Indians in the Eastern Caribbean,” he explained.
The DASPA CEO added that the Government is making the necessary strides to ensure that Dominica is attractive to visitors.
“I can tell you that we are getting stronger in relation to the environment which means it is much more appealing to your guests in terms of the things that we are doing and we are beginning to look to see how we can ensure that our tourism product as sustainable as possible. In terms of the issue of resilience, the Government of Dominica policy is to make Dominica the number one country in the terms of resilience. And that is a mammoth task that I know the Government of Dominica has taken on but we can begin to see the fruits of this. I can say to you with every level of assurance, that within the next 24 months, Dominica will be operating on 100 percent green electric energy and that is going to be a major feat for us. We are going to have geothermal as well as hydro, ensuring that as we talk sustainability the actual product is here and we are turning it over,” Mr. Bardouille added.
Meanwhile, Captain of the Mein Schiff 2 Mr. Todd Allen Burgman says he is thrilled to be back in Dominica.
“It’s a thrill to be back in Dominica. It is one of my favorite islands as I mentioned to the guests just last night. I’ve been coming here for over forty years personally and have been here with five different ships with the Mein Schiff fleet. Sustainability is also very important to us as a company. We have literally the youngest, the most energy efficient, the most environmentally friendly and responsible fleet of cruise ships in the industry and we are continuing to grow. Our next ship will be this size but it will be hopefully mostly with bio diesel propulsion, two others will be coming after that with LNG propulsion; so sustainability and environmental stewardship is very, very important to us,” Captain Burgman stated.
The Mein Schiff 2 Captain noted that the feedback from visitors has been amazing and he is pleased to be opening the 2022 2023 cruise season.
“We have probably the highest percentage of guests participating in local excursions of any brand in the industry and we have always gotten good feedback from our guests about Dominica. It’s been sort of a surprise because they see in the brochure a beach but they are always blown away by the nature and the friendliness of the local population. So it is always a real thrill to be here, we are happy to be back and it’s an honor to be the first ship staring the 2022/2022 winter season,” Captain Burgman added.