T&T’s Cruise Ship season kicks off
Trinidad and Tobago’s Cruise ship Season started on November 8, 2007 with 1,950 tourists arriving on the Oceana vessel, and another 1,950 expected today on the Sea Princess. The Cruise Ship Season runs from November 8, 2007 to April 22, 2008.
Other large vessels docking in Port of Spain during the season include the Sea Princess, Star Princess, Noordam, Princess Danae, Delphin, and Discovery. Many passengers hail from Europe, and, usually, at least 75% of them disembark. They usually go on national tours, and visit malls and downtown Port of Spain to shop. This year, Trinidad and Tobago Sightseeing Tours won the Florida Princess Cruises "Tour of the Season" award for the 2006-2007 cruise ship season in the port of Port of Spain for their tour "Port of Spain Highlights and Cultural Show". Passengers often book trips for tours such as these.
The Tourism Development Company (TDC) Limited has a major role to play in ensuring that cruise ship passengers have a very pleasant and memorable experience. Under its visitor guide programme, the TDC strategically positions Visitor Guides in downtown Port of Spain to extend hospitality and goodwill to all local, regional and international visitors to the capital city. The guides are trained to provide accurate information, and to help make visitors’ stay an enjoyable one. They are identified by their red shirts, which bear two logos - one of the City of Port of Spain crest, and one of Trinidad and Tobago’s Destination logo. They also carry identification badges.
The TDC also collaborates with the Police Service to seek to provide an increased police presence in Port of Spain, in order to best assure visitors’ safety. In addition to having a Tourist Information Office at the Cruise Ship Complex throughout the season, the TDC hosts activities for the passengers, as part of the drive to showcase Trinidad and Tobago’s culture. These activities include events at the Cruise Ship Complex dock, and showcase local music, dance and food. Entertainment segments include parang, tassa, folk dance, parades of traditional Carnival characters, and steelpan.
As part of efforts to be a leading, cruise port destination worldwide with a high rate of stay-over visitors, Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting the 15th annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's (FCCA) Caribbean Cruise Conference and Trade Show in 2008. With nearly 1,200 cruise industry partners, including approximately 100 cruise executives, attending the FCCA conference each year, the event is one of the most popular conventions in the international, tourism market. The conference will give Trinidad and Tobago a major opportunity to showcase its sites, attractions and amenities to future cruise goers and other travellers. Supporting the FCCA event provides the opportunity to demonstrate Trinidad and Tobago’s growing meeting and conference capabilities, and assist in the country’s thrust to position itself as the Meetings and Conference Capital of the Caribbean.