The Oasis of the Seas continues to provide important business for downtown operations. The world's largest ship is pictured on its maiden voyage to Nassau.
Nassau, Bahamas - Downtown businesses are reporting healthy
business from cruise ships after extensive dredging and refurbishment of Nassau
world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, is among the selection of
cruise vessels that call at Prince George Dock in Nassau. The historic ship calls at Nassau two
Sundays each month. Meanwhile, another mega cruise ship, the Norwegian Epic,
has been calling on Fridays. Each
vessel has contributed handsomely to revenues.
“The Bahamas was amongst many countries which were seeking
to have these ships call on their ports,” said Carla Stuart, director of Cruise
Development in the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “By the end of December, the Oasis
would have made 34 visits and brought at least 183,600 passengers for the year
2010. Head tax to be derived is estimated
at $2.7 million while spend from the passengers of this vessel is estimated at
$12 million. The ship will
continue to call every other week.”
businesses have taken notice of the mega ships and their passengers.
Miller of Vintage Island Handicraft, a Festival Place souvenir store, pointed
out that the Oasis’ calls have been good for business on Sundays, which would
otherwise be slow. Meanwhile,
Senor Frog’s has also been happy with the business that the Oasis brings.
does make a difference when the Oasis comes in,” said Chester Williamson,
manager of Senor Frog’s. “I think the second week it came in with 3,000 people
Williamson said cruise business figures prominently into the restaurant’s
business although they get some groups from hotels as well. He notices many families on Mondays
when the Disney cruise ship makes its call, and on Wednesdays, he has noted
that Norwegian ships especially encourage passengers to do shore
activities. The most significant
cruise business comes on days like Tuesday and Saturday when ships overnight.
Although business ends early on Sunday’s the Oasis makes a definite impact, he
Stuart pointed out that the Sunday impact will be greater at the end of the
year, when a new Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) vessel is scheduled to
call at Nassau.
December, we will welcome the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas- the sister
ship to the Oasis,” Ms. Stuart said.
“This ship will also call every other week on Sundays. After December, and with the
combined trips of the Oasis and Allure, we will have an Oasis class vessel in
port every Sunday. These
estimates do not include calls made by the Freedom of the Seas with a capacity
of 3634 double occupancy and is now able to call on Nassau during inclement
weather at Coco Cay (RCCL’s private island).
the mega ships continue to bring thousands of passengers whose departure taxes
alone are estimated to pay for the Nassau Harbour Improvement Project in three
to five years. By the end of the
year, the Epic, which began calls to Nassau in July, would have brought 36,900
passengers and would have contributed$ 553,500 in head tax. The passenger spend from Jul y to the
end of the year is estimated at $2.4 million.
In November 2011, the Epic is expected
to move from a bi-monthly schedule to a weekly schedule. The head tax collections from
this vessel in 2012 are estimated at $3 million with the passenger spend at $13
the first quarter of 2011, Nassau will welcome Disney’s new mega ship - the
Disney Dream. This ship will have
a capacity of 4000 passengers and will replace the Disney Wonder with a
capacity of 2600 passengers.