Thursday, July 25, 2024

Belize Prepares for the Restart of Cruise Operations

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The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 released a new set of health and safety protocols that will guide the restart of cruise operations in Belize. The protocols outline the necessary adjustments and adaptations to be undertaken at each step of the cruise cycle – from home port, to destination and return.
These protocols are the result of many hours of hard work by the Belize Cruise Taskforce, working in collaboration with the Americas Cruise Taskforce and the Central American Cruise Subcommittee, to develop special health and safety protocols in line with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conditional sail order. These protocols also incorporate recommendations from the Healthy Sail Panel, Belize’s Ministry of Health and Wellness and local stakeholders via consultations.
“There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for reopening of the cruise industry. The outlook appears much more positive than it has for the past year”, stated Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations. “It is vital that we are adequately prepared for the return of our guests, and the key to our success lies in developing a strategic framework to ensure a safe and secure experience for passengers, crew and the destination.”
For four consecutive years, Belize welcomed over 1 million cruise passengers annually to its shores. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Belize received almost 1.2 million passengers with 68% of travelers arriving at Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City and 32% arriving at Harvest Caye in southern Belize.  The BTB and the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations are committed to the full recovery of the cruise industry to Pre-COVID numbers, and to enhance the Belize tourism product to make it more competitive within the region.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will resume with the first test sail on August 4th, 2021. This will be followed by the official first guests to call on Harvest Caye on August 9th, 2021, signaling the reopening of the cruise tourism sector in Belize. It has been over a year since the cruise industry in our region has been suspended, and thousands of Belizeans that work in this sector are now ready to welcome cruise guests to our shores once again, guided by the new health and safety protocols.
To download a copy of the protocols please click Here.

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