Nassau has recently experienced its busiest period in history, breaking its own one-day visitor number record three times in the space of just over one week. More than 150,000 cruise ship passengers have visited the port since the start of the year.
The news comes as the port shows signs it has fully recovered from the effects of the global pause in operations. The port reported extremely positive numbers over the past year when the cruise industry was finally able to start operating at full occupancy levels again.
Three Records With More Than 25,000 Visitors Per Day
Nassau has experienced its busiest period in history over the new years period. In the space of just over a week, the cruise port broke its visitor number record three times.
On December 28th, Nassau, in the Bahamas, broke its one-day visitor number record when 25,279 cruise ship passengers visited on the same day from the cruise ships Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Dream, Norwegian Getaway, Liberty of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas.
On January 5th, the port broke that record with 25,393 cruise ship passengers arriving in the port onboard Carnival Conquest, Carnival Legend, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Carnival Dream, and Symphony of the Seas.
Mike Maura, CEO Port Director, stated: “25,393 passengers today, January 5th, 2023, beats our prior one-day record of 25,279 achieved December 28th, 2022. Fantastic start to 2023. In the past week, Nassau Cruise Port has welcomed 114,989 passengers. Nassau is the place to be in 2023.”
And in the same week, on January 8, the port broke the record again when a staggering 26,396 cruise ship passengers arrived on the same day. These guests arrived in the port on Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sunrise, Norwegian Escape, Liberty of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas.
“This is indicative of a strong rebound in the cruise industry, with climbing occupancy rates. These passenger volumes have a positive impact on the tourism industry in The Bahamas. Geographically, The Bahamas is blessed, not only with sun, sand, and sea but also with proximity to the major home ports in the US,” Mike Maura continued.
Nassau has welcomed more than 150,000 cruise ship passengers since the start of the year. This sets the port up to break the records it set in 2019 when 3,85 million passengers visited Nassau while building on the solid base it set last year.
Past and Future Looking Bright for Nassau
While the numbers over the past couple of weeks have been incredible for Nassau, all in all, 2022 has been an exceptional year for the cruise port. Despite the lower occupancy rates that cruise ships sailed with at the beginning of the year, and the impact of global social and economic unrest, the port still welcomed 3,212,603 passengers arriving on 1,140 ships.
Although 2019 cruise traffic to Nassau broke all previous records, with 3.85 million passengers arriving on 1,206 ships, Nassau is confident that this will make an exciting target for 2023. Not surprising as 2022 had just 5,5% fewer cruise ship calls than 2019, while the start of the year saw occupancy rates of just 45% overall and averages of 1,148 passengers per ship.
By the fourth quarter of 2022, the Bahamas welcomed 989,285 cruise ship passengers, compared with 986,641 in 2019.
New Developments to Open May 2023
The year 2022 at Nassau Cruise Port was not just about the cruise industry’s comeback but also about the waterfront in downtown Nassau and Prince George Wharf’s makeover. With the completion of “berth 6,” a new cruise berth with Icon- and Excel-class capabilities, Nassau can now regularly welcome six ships per day.
To prepare for over 60 new Bahamian retail, art, and food & beverage outlets, and a new entertainment venue, the dredge material from the berth six construction was used to expand and improve the Nassau waterfront.
The cruise port and the waterfront in downtown Nassau are expected to open on May 27, 2023, with the maritime works being 99% finished at the end of 2022, and the ongoing work to the waterfront and cruise terminal being about 70% completed.