Dominica welcomed the MV Mein Schiff 3 of TUI Cruises on 28th January, which brought in well over 2,000 passengers to the destination’s shores. This was the first major cruise call to Dominica and the first call to the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth post Hurricane Maria. Dominica’s ability to welcome visitors to the island after the level of devastation experienced just over four months ago has been described as an incredible achievement and has instilled much hope among its citizens and stakeholders within the tourism sector.
To date, the Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal has invested over $3 million on restoration of access, rehabilitation and upgrading of sites, and clean-up of debris post Hurricane Maria. With support from the Ministry of Public Works and Ports, Forestry, Parks and Wildlife Division, National Employment Programme, Dominica Solid Waste Corporation, and many other stakeholders in the public and private sector, the destination was prepared to welcome visitors across the island at various natural sites.
Passengers of Mein Schiff 3 engaged in many of the island’s shore excursions which included tours to the famous Emerald Pool, Trafalgar Twin Falls, Bois Cotlette Estate, Titou Gorge, whale watching tours and the island’s unique therapeutic black sand Mero Beach. The passengers all echoed the same sentiments stating that their experience was “Awesome and Enjoyable!” The passengers also expressed feelings of satisfaction in having contributed towards the economic and rebuilding efforts of destination Dominica.
The call of Mein Schiff 3 created an opportunity to contribute to the economy as vendors, taxi drivers, tour operators, tour guides and many other tourism stakeholders were impacted by Hurricane Maria. This call of Mein Schiff 3, resulted from a familiarisation visit by executives of TUI Cruises to the island in December 2017 to assess the destination’s readiness for cruise activity. The MV Mein Schiff 3 is expected to make five additional calls to the island during the 2017/2018 cruise season.
A series of cultural performances were organized throughout the day to ensure a favourable welcome experience to the passengers of Mein Schiff 3. A brief ceremony to include presentation of a plaque by the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Robert Tonge to the ship’s captain and staff in appreciation for the first post Maria call to Dominica, also formed part of the day’s activity. Tourism officials focused their efforts on ensuring a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for the cruise passengers. These included ensuring the islands sites and attractions were accessible and ready for cruise visitors, rehabilitation of the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth to receive cruise vessels, and clean-up of the city to receive our very special cruise visitors.