It has been a long time in coming, but on September 02, 2021, Bonaire welcomed its first cruise ship in 18 months. The Celebrity Equinox received a heart-warming welcome from representatives of Tourism Corporation Bonaire and the Public Entity Bonaire. A small ceremony was held at the middle pier to celebrate this special moment in the island’s tourism history. It is a positive sign that Bonaire is at a strategic point, where it can safely welcome visitors to its shores.
The ceremony began with a welcome by the Cruise & Project Coordinator at Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Elesier Angel. In addition, there were speeches by the Commissioner of Economics and Tourism Affairs Hennyson Thielman; Miles Mercera, CEO of Tourism Corporation Bonaire; Uclaytis Davelaar of the Bonaire Cruise Tourism Association (BCTA); and Captain of the Celebrity Equinox, Dimitrios Manetas.
Officials Express Joy at First Cruise Ship
Commissioner Thielman expressed his happiness and hopefulness for the months ahead, even though the pandemic is still active. Additionally, he is confident in both the island’s and cruise ships’ procedures and protocols that are in place to handle the pandemic. Miles Mercero also expressed his joy at the Celebrity Equinox’s first docking in such a long time. He said that it brings joy to the local entrepreneurs who can work and feed their Bonaire community.
Captain Dimitrios thanked Bonaire for the welcome and shared how happy he was to be back in the island. The Bonaire government and tourism officials presented the Captain with several gifts. Some of the gifts he received were a Bonaire flag, a plaque by Madura Travel and a photo of the Celebrity Equinox on its arrival in Bonaire.
The ceremony which ended with refreshments and live music was a positive sign for the island’s cruise industry. There is a strong hope that arrival of the first cruise ship after such a long time, will inspire cruise passengers to book cruises to the island. Also, it should encourage long-stay visitors to book vacations to Bonaire in the coming months.
Press Release: Bonaire Welcomes First Cruise Ship After 18 Months
Image Credit: Tourism Corporation Bonaire