Feb 06, 2012 News
As the country continues to gain international recognition among tour operators, the cruise liner MV Vista Mar cruise ship docked at the Guyana National Shipping Corporation’s (GNSC’s) wharf yesterday, with over 300 passengers and crew members on board.
This marks the 2nd anchorage for the German-flag carrier which has a carrying capacity of 400.
It is the first cruise liner to dock in Guyana for the year.
While the ship was docked at the GNSC wharf, its passengers were allowed a few hours to shop at the La Penitence Market, and some chose to tour other parts of the city.
Captain of the Vista Mar, Alfio Bizzi, during a media tour of the small but impressive vessel, explained that this was his first visit to Guyana.
The only issue which caused him to worry while he was docking was the depth of the water but overall he was pleased with the journey and visit. The cruise began on January 27.
The luxurious cruise ship boasts a top-deck pool, a bar area, a sauna, exercising rooms and top class dining facilities.
Kaieteur News understands that the next destination for the Vista Mar is Kingston, Jamaica, followed by Martinique and then it will cruise along the Amazon River where it is scheduled to spend one month.
According to Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh, Guyana continues to welcome the visits of both small and medium size cruise liners with hopes of further boosting the tourism industry.
He stated that for last year, there were five dockings of cruise ships in Georgetown and there is a growing interest in the country as a tourist destination.
Originally, it was expected that the MV Adonia (a UK Carnival Line Vessel) would have arrived to do a first time anchorage call in port Georgetown on January 27.
Unfortunately, the trip was cancelled due to a delay in Barbados.
Wilderness Explorers, a local tourism company, assisted in organizing the trip.
The company’s representative, Teri O’Brien, told Kaieteur News that they are aiming to have other cruise ships later in the year.
Kaieteur news understands that The GTA is now expecting to have the MV Clipper Adventure sometime in March.
This cruise liner is expected to dock in Essequibo.
With this exposure, other areas of Guyana are also being opened up, and there will be more employment opportunities available for locals.
There would be a spin-off benefit for taxi drivers and local tour operators while persons who sell art and craft will benefit.
According to a press release from the GNSC, it has been facilitating an increasing amount of visits by cruise ships over the last four years, and passengers are welcomed in a safe and secured yet tourist friendly environment.
As local agents for such vessels, it provides organized and streamlined arrangements at La Penitence wharf to facilitate the docking and disembarking of the passengers.
They are greeted with light Guyanese entertainment on the wharf (steel pan music) and they also have the opportunity to purchase locally made arts and crafts and beverages.
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