Hurricanes Irma and Maria left a trail of destruction when it hit many of the islands in the Caribbean a little under two months ago. While many of islands are still trying to pick up the pieces, some are now trying to return to normality.
For many people living on these islands, tourism is a vital part of their economy – and major cruise lines have been working together with the destinations to get the cruise industry back up and running. Industry leaders are encouraging people to visit their favourite Caribbean hotspots as soon as possible – as this will only aid their recovery.
For some cruise ports their recovery came at a surprising speed, as Key West opened up its port to cruise ships four weeks earlier than anticipated – welcoming its first post-hurricane cruise ship, Royal Caribbean®’s Empress of the Seas®. Other Caribbean ports are also working on plans to begin to bring tourists and revenue back to their islands in the imminent future.
Rallying together to recover
“We’re recovering from a disaster,” Governor Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands said in a statement. “We’re all human beings and we’re making all of our best efforts.”
According to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 85% of the ports are open and operating, with many of the closed ports likely to reopen within the coming weeks. The FCCA have launched a website campaign to encourage tourism, and educate visitors on how tourism fuels the economy for many of the islands.
The FCCA said the cruise industry contributed $2.4 billion to the economy in the Caribbean, including $842 million in wages for nearly 55,000 jobs, from 2014 to 2015.
It’s been a tough few months for cruise lines operating in the Caribbean, with the storms forcing them to change itineraries to bypass damaged ports of call until it’s safe to return, with cruise lines thanking passengers for their understanding and support during this tough time.
Here’s a port-by-port look at the destinations which are open and closed to ships in the coming weeks and months…
Ports open for business
Antigua – St. Johns
Aruba – Oranjestad
Bahamas – Nassau, Freeport
Barbados – Bridgetown
Bermuda – King’s Wharf, Hamilton, St, George’s
Bonaire – Kralendijk
Cuba – Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba
Curacao – Willemstad
Dominican Republic – Amber Cove, La Romana, Samana, Santo Domingo
The Florida Keys – Key West
Grenada – St. George’s
Haiti – Labadee
Martinique – Fort de France
Montserrat – Little Bay
Nevis – Charlestown
Puerto Rico – San Juan
St. Kitts – Basseterre
St. Vincent & the Grenadines – Kingstown
St. Lucia – Port Castries
Anguilla – Road Bay
Guadeloupe – Pointe-a-Pitre
St. Croix (U.S Virgin Islands) – Frederiksted
St. John (U.S Virgin Islands) – Crus Bay
St. Maarten (U.S Virgin Islands) – Philipburg
St. Thomas (U.S Virgin Islands) – Charlotte Amalie, West Idian Company dock, Crown Bay dock
Tortola (British Virgin Islands) – Road Town
Turks & Caicos – Grand Turk
Barbuda – Low Bay Beach
Dominica – Roseau
St. Barts – Gustavia
St. Maartin – Marigot
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