Southern Caribbean Eyes Cruise Market


Above: Grenada

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Bahamas. Jamaica. Puerto Rico. The Turks and Caicos Islands.

If you’re taking a cruise from Miami to the Caribbean, these are generally the destinations you’ll be visiting.

And while several cruise lines offer longer cruises, either from Miami or San Juan, the further south you go in the Caribbean, the less likely you are to see a high rate of cruise calls.

As a result, several countries in the southern Caribbean are now working on an initiative to make sure they get a share of the region’s cruise visits.

The Southern Caribbean Cruise Initiative aims to market the group of islands like Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia to increase calls to their ports.

“What we notice is that all the cruising is taking place in the North of the Caribbean and so we want to move some of it more to the South,” said Grenada Tourism Minister Alexandra Otway-Noel, who has been attending a working meeting on the initiative this week. “We’re working on the Southern Caribbean Cruise Initiative where islands of the Southern Caribbean can market themselves and hopefully attract more ships to this part of the region.”

Otway-Noel said the initiative would give countries like Grenada a “shot in the arm” needed to capitalize on the cruise sector.

Several cruise lines bring ships to the southernmost islands of the Caribbean chain, but the vast majority of cruising is done in the northern part of the region — due in large part to Miami and San Juan being the region’s main cruise hubs.

On a smaller scale, Otway-Noel said she was meeting with Trinidad and Tobago Transport Minister Chandresh LD Sharma about increasing ferry service between Trinidad and Grenada.

Otway-Noel is returning to Grenada on Wednesday.