TORONTO — The news reports coming in from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are heartbreaking, and the images even more so.
MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line is heading back to Grand Bahama beginning this Friday with the Carnival Pride.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation pledged US$2 million towards relief efforts. Relief shipments were also delivered by Carnival Cruise Line ships, while Carnival employees and guests have donated well over $500,000 through online giving tools and collections made onboard.
Now, with recovery efforts well underway, the Carnival Pride is set to dock in Freeport on Oct. 11, followed by Carnival Elation on Oct. 13 and Carnival Freedom on Oct. 15.
“Carnival Cruise Line is proud to be such a big year-round supporter for cruise tourism to Freeport so we are very excited to provide our guests the opportunity to again visit this popular destination,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival’s senior vice president of nautical and port operations. “Cruise ship visits are important to the local economy and our shore excursion team has been working closely with local tour operators, and has confirmed a variety of attractive onshore excursions for our guests.”
More than 15 shore excursions will be offered, including The All Inclusive Beach Club; A Select Retreat with Beach and Water Toys; and the VIP Luxury Sail, to name a few.
Carnival Pride departed Baltimore on Oct. 6 on a week-long cruise with nearly 2,400 guests. All told, between now and year’s end, Carnival Cruise Line expects to host 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the destination and providing a significant impact to the local economy.
For the full year, over 400,000 guests will visit Grand Bahama on a Carnival cruise aboard 10 different ships sailing from nine U.S. homeports.
On Monday, Carnival Ecstasy arrived in Freeport to undergo an extensive 12-day dry dock at the Grand Bahama shipyard, becoming the first cruise ship to utilize the facility since Hurricane Dorian.
On Carnival Cruise Line’s return, Senator James Kwasi Malik Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, said: “The rebuilding of Grand Bahama has begun. We welcome the return of Carnival Cruise Line back to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. Carnival is an incredible partner for the Bahamas and Grand Bahama.”