ROSEAU, Dominica, Sunday July 15, 2018 – Dominica has welcomed the Carnival Cruise Lines vessel, Carnival Fascination, as the company resumed regular summer calls to Dominica for the first time since 2010.
And Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Careen Prevost, said its return is very significant for the Eastern Caribbean island, particularly after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017.
“So Carnival being here after an 8-year absence is very significant for us in the Ministry of Tourism, it is very significant to the tourism sector and, as you are seeing, we do have a number of guests who are coming off,” Prevost said after the ship arrived last Tuesday with more than 2,000 guests.
She explained that over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Dominica had been negotiating with Carnival Cruise Lines to get them back to the island.
“Post-Hurricane Maria, we hosted a delegation from Carnival Cruise Lines in January. They did a site inspection and they also returned two weeks ago to monitor the island again to determine whether we were ready for Carnival Cruise Lines and based on the inspections, based on our meetings and all the work that we had done, rehabilitating the sites, getting Dominica prepared we have Carnival back here,” she said.
Prevost said that so far there are 10 scheduled calls for the summer.
“We are hoping that if everything goes well for these calls, then we will see the return of Carnival full-time,” she added.
Government has invested over $6 million in site reconstruction and rehabilitation post-Hurricane Maria to get tourist sites ready.
Carnival Cruise Lines pulled out of Dominica in 2010, after 21 years of making the island one of its ports of call, citing high fuel prices.