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Preparing for the Upcoming 2023-2024 Cruise Season

by | Oct 30, 2023 | Activities, Local News, Tourism Announcements

Cruise ship visiting Bonaire

The annual Cruise Town Hall Meeting took place last week for the 2023-2024 Cruise Season.

Last week, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) organized its annual Cruise Town Hall Meeting in collaboration with the Bonaire Government and Harbor Office. This gathering brought together key stakeholders from the cruise sector, including taxi services, vendors, travel agents, tour operators, booking agents, and representatives from the local tourism industry, marking the beginning of the 2023-2024 cruise season in Bonaire.

Discussions during the meeting.

During the meeting, participants engaged in in-depth discussions on various topics, including the performance of the previous cruise season (2022-2023), the “One Call Policy,” first calls, training opportunities, cruise trade show participation, agreements with cruise partners, and more.

The stakeholders were also informed of the implementation of the “One Call Policy” which was introduced by the government of Bonaire in 2021. An update was provided on the dates when there will be two cruise ships in port due to previously confirmed bookings. Note that cruise lines confirm their cruise schedules up to 3 years in advance. Additionally, starting from January 2023, the new head tax was introduced with a change in fee (head tax) of $3.50 to $10 per cruise visitor.

In 2022, Bonaire welcomed 304,563 visitors from 165 ships, and by the end of September 2023, the island had received 341,070 visitors from 123 ships.

Initiatives for the local population.

The meeting also highlighted initiatives introduced for the local population such as the “behind the scenes tours” for more than 100 MBO VMBO students on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships as part of the signed MOU of 2022. Furthermore, 100+ local children had the opportunity to discover the Carnival Celebration ship and experience a day on board.

The 2023-2024 season, Bonaire has scheduled a total of +/-186 cruise ships. New season first calls include Celebrity Beyond on November 19, 2023, Explora I on November 30, 2023, Norwegian Viva on January 9, 2024, and Emerald Azzurra on February 21, 2024.

Additionally, there is a new project called “Arts and Crafts Pop Up” which will allow locals to sell handmade products at a “pop-up” location in Wilhelmina Park, promoting community participation and market growth.

Cruise Schedule for the 2023-2024 season

InfoBonaire has a dedicated cruise ship page that shows which cruise ship to expect and is updated weekly during the high season. There is also a FAQ page for any cruise-related questions that you may have.

If you are planning your day at port, be sure to book your activity excursions, rental car, or scooter in advance as it is our high season. Check out our list of recommended providers throughout the website.

(Source: TCB & Bonaire Insider)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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