After more than twenty years, Royal Caribbean is finally returning to Trinidad and Tobago. In a few days, Rhapsody of the Seas will bring the first cruisers back to the island, a destination that has been sadly missing from Royal’s itineraries for many years.
The long-overdue visit was supposed to take place in December of last year. However, strict measures in place relating to the pandemic prevented Grandeur of the Seas from making its scheduled calls.
Royal Caribbean Officially Returns to Trinidad and Tobago
After an absence of twenty years, Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas will be the first cruise ship to include Trinidad and Tobago on its itineraries on November 21. The visit from the Vision-class cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International coincides with the official opening of the cruise season for the popular southern Caribbean islands.
It has been more than two years since the last cruise ship visited Trinidad and Tobago. The islands implemented strict visitor guidelines during the pandemic, and low vaccination levels amongst the local population prevented cruise ships from being able to visit.
Trinidad officials have been working hard to get Royal Caribbean to return to the islands. The cruise line traditionally has a strong connection with the islands due to the many crew from Trinidad and Tobago working onboard. In fact, around 2,000 people from Trinidad and Tobago were employed by the cruise line in June following a local recruitment exercise.
In the coming months, Rhapsody of the Seas will visit both Trinidad and Tobago. In Trinidad, the ship will sail to Port of Spain, while in Tobago, the cruise ship will visit Scarborough.
The eight-day cruises onboard the 78,878 gross-ton Rhapsody of the Seas sail from Bridgetown, Barbados, and will also visit St Georges, Grenada; St Vincent, St Vincent and the Grenadines; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Dominica; and Castries, St Lucia.
The Trinidad tourism council also said Royal Caribbean plans to have Rhapsody of the Seas in Port of Spain during the island’s famous Carnival in February. The ship would stay in Trinidad and Tobago for a total of four days, according to local reports.
More Cruise Ships to Visit Trinidad and Tobago
Royal Caribbean International is not the only cruise line making a return to Trinidad and Tobago. Besides Rhapsody of the Seas, MSC Cruises’ Seashore will call on the islands during a 20-night Grand Voyage from Miami to Rio de Janeiro. Other cruise lines that will send ships are Silverseas, Regent Seven Seas, and Oceania Cruises.
Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell: “We look forward to welcoming the cruise lines. We have a very decent cruise season. Cruise season, of course, starts November 1 all the way up until (the) end of March. So we look forward to a very good cruise season.”
After the start in November 2022, the cruise season in Trinidad and Tobago will run until April 2023. During these six months, the islands will see the arrival of a total of 71 cruises.
Tobago is the most popular destination, with 43 cruises to dock at the Scarborough and Charlotteville ports in Tobago; the remaining 28 will dock at the Cruise Ship Complex in Port of Spain in Trinidad.