First Cruise Ship to Return to Grand Cayman

cayman islands jetblueSeven Mile Beach.
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The Cayman Islands is set to relaunch its cruise industry next month, Caribbean Journal has learned. 

The destination has approved the Holland America Nieuw Statendam cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman on Dec. 28, 2021. 

It will mark the first time a cruise ship has called on Grand Cayman since the onset of the pandemic. 

The ship is coming to Grand Cayman after an agreement with Holland American to comply with several conditions, including the requirement that Grand Cayman must be the ship’s first port of call. 

Passenger capacity will be limited to 1,600 people, about 60 percent capacity. 

Nieuw Statendam
Nieuw Statendam.

And all guests and crew must be fully vaccinated, along with having taken and received a negative PCR or antigen test within two days of their embarkation. 

“The health and safety of our people and visitors to our shores continues to be a priority in our phased reopening plan. Currently, over 1,000 Caymanians are displaced due to the closure of our cruise ports, and as we safely reopen our borders, the cruise sector will be a key part of the tourism industry’s recovery,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan. “This single cruise ship call presents an opportunity for us to find the safest way to welcome back our cruise visitors while we can continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.”

The Cayman Islands this week reopened its tourism industry to fully vaccinated travelers. 

“This has been an ongoing conversation with the cruise industry about what conditions are required to make this a safe experience for everyone involved and how to make that feasible,” Bryan said. “We thank Holland America for being an excellent partner and leading the way for this new era of cruise travel in the Cayman Islands for the foreseeable future. My people can be assured that my approach and negotiation strategy is for quality first.”

— CJ