via TampAGS for AGS Media

Bahamas - Port Chief: Nassau Won't See Cruise Ships till 2021

The cruise lines will resume calling on The Bahamas' major ports in the 2021 first quarter, Nassau Cruise Port's top executive predicted yesterday, while warning: "We won't see anything in 2020."

Michael Maura, speaking after US health regulators set the conditions the cruise industry must comply with to resume sailing, told Tribune Business that this had provided sufficient clarity on "a path forward" for the sector's return to The Bahamas and other Caribbean nations.

He was quick to point out, though, that much "collaboration" will be required between the cruise lines, Nassau Cruise Port and other major Bahamian gateways, and the Government in developing COVID-19 protocols to ensure the sector's return is "bullet proof" from a health and safety standpoint.

Suggesting that the cruise industry had been working vigorously behind the scenes to address the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) concerns, and had reached the equivalent of a football field's half-way line, Mr. Maura said it was now vital that all stakeholders work together and avoid "operating in silos" to ensure the sector's resumption "gets across the goal line".

While hailing the CDC's unveiling of its 'Framework for resuming safe and responsible cruise ship passenger operations' as "great news" for The Bahamas, and all businesses and employees that relied upon the sector for their livelihoods, Mr. Maura acknowledged that The Bahamas' major port hubs - Nassau and Freeport - will almost certainly not receive any calls before year-end.

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