It’s been confirmed that Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos will finally start to welcome cruise ships in early December 2021. The announcement comes as the government signs an agreement to extend the dock facility and improve the reception facility with the Carnival Corporation.
Grand Turk Is Coming Back!
After 21 months of no cruise ships calling at Grand Turk, the cruise center will finally begin welcoming back vessels from early December 2021. The return to the popular cruise destination was confirmed by the Government of Turks and Caicos and Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald after recently confirming that an agreement was to come with some investments.
It’s extra good news for the island residents who have been missing the business that cruise visitors bring to local tour guides, merchants, restaurants, and other retailers.
In March 2020, just as the global cruise suspensions were being implemented, over 1,450 people on the island were employed in cruise tourism with an employee wage income totaling $26.8 million annually.
The cruise industry in Grand Turk was set to continue to grow and exceed 1.2 million cruise passengers annually.
“As part of our overall restart efforts, we are very excited to be returning to Turks and Caicos later this year, and to once again be able to treat our guests to the beauty and wonder surrounding our home in Grand Turk,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We continue to be grateful for our long-standing partnership with Turks and Caicos, and look forward to working together on the expansion of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, which will bring more guests to one of our most popular destinations while providing ongoing positive economic impact to the people of Turks and Caicos and the communities in which they live.”
Carnival Investing $25 Million
Grand Turk is a popular port of call for Carnival Corp, especially for Carnival Cruise Line, with multiple ships visiting before the pandemic hit, along with ships from Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. The government and Carnival Corp have signed an agreement for $24 million of investment.
The agreement includes an extension to the dock so larger cruise ships can be accommodated. There will also be some improvements to the reception facility at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, likely to cater to increased passenger numbers in the future.
Hon. Premier Misick added: “As a community, we welcome the long-awaited resumption of cruising in Turks and Caicos, and we are delighted to be working closely with Carnival Corporation to continue to invest in the future of the Grand Turk Cruise Center. We look forward to long-lasting strategic alliances and joint initiatives with partners that will foster the economic growth of the Turks and Caicos Islands, creating opportunities for households across the country, making it possible for individual workers and entrepreneurs to earn more, and to achieve a higher standard of living and where businesses thrive and grow.”
Since Hon. Premier Misick came into office in February 2021, and negotiations accelerated with Carnival. It also came as the government was aware of the plight due to no cruise ships visiting the island. The cruise suspensions have impacted local taxi and transportation operators, shore excursions, restaurants, local craft vendors, souvenir shops, and more.