Vanuatu to welcome first Carnival cruise ship tomorrow

This month is an exciting time for the tourism industry as it is set to be the trial month for cruise ships to Vanuatu after two years of COVID lock-down.

All tourism businesses especially small and medium enterprises have longed for these cruise ship days to return and finally their wish have been granted.

Tomorrow Port Vila will welcome the arrival of the first cruise ship at the main wharf and a total of four cruise vessels will visit Mystery Island, Port Vila and Luganville throughout the month.

The National Cruise Tourism Management Committee, led by the Department of Tourism has advised that with the arrival of the first cruise ship, will see transport and handicraft businesses starting to get busier.

This afternoon at the Feyawa park in Port Vila, locals are already at work setting up the handicraft house with colorful, uniquely designed and locally made souvenirs in preparations for tomorrow. The Carnival cruise ship is expected to bring ova 2,000 passengers.

A press release from the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) announced that there will also be a double berthing on the 19th of November in Port Vila. Hosting the Pacific Adventure during the day and later in the afternoon the Ovation of the Seas overnight and departing the next day.

“This trial is very important as it prepares Vanuatu the opportunity to test our cruise preparedness and our systems on ground after more than two (2) years of border closure,” says the Acting Director of the Department of Tourism, Mr. William Naviti.

“Since the cruise ships are operating less than maximum passenger volume it allows us the space to strategically navigate and pinpoint the areas that we, alongside all our stakeholders, need to collaborate and improve on as part of role to coordinate policy to fulfil the objectives of the Sustainable Cruise Tourism Development Strategy and the Sustainable Tourism Policy 2019 – 2030”, states the Acting Director Naviti.

The Vanuatu tourism office has consultations, awareness and training have also been facilitated towards tourism product operators, land transport providers and water taxis, as part of the cruise preparedness plan in all three ports of Mystery Island, Luganville and Port Vila.

According to VTO, the National Cruise Tourism management Committed has recommended a soft-opening in order to allow more tourism operators and products to be market-ready for further cruise visits.

“We are very excited for this opportunity to see the cruise return in 2022 as we believe that the trials could not have happened at a better time after our border reopening in July of this year. This is the next port of entry and market that the cruise industry is waiting for in order to deliver our adventure experiences to our visiting cruise travellers,” said VTO Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adela Issachar Aru

“Our efforts to increase PR and brand awareness of how great Vanuatu is as an adventure destination is for our cruise passengers to capture their Vanuatu moments each time they berth into Mystery Island, Port Vila and Luganville ports of call. The Australian and NZ travelers arriving on our shores are keen to explore places, create new friends, gain new experiences, taste something different and purchase a memoir of their visit, therefore let us welcome them with our warm smiles and friendly hospitality once more.

New stringent measures are being put in place at the main wharf to control access and steady flow of traffic. The Vanuatu Police Force have developed the Port Vila wharf traffic management plan whilst the Department of Ports & Harbour will be implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code to enhance security measures and standard procedures at the main wharf.

A colorful and exiting day will be expected tomorrow for the welcome of the first cruise ship in Port Vila.

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