HAMILTON, Bermuda– Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is set to homeport one of its cruise ships in Bermuda this summer and offer cruises to its private island in the Bahamas, according to industry sources.
Under the new arrangement, RCI will lay on seven-day cruises from Bermuda to CocoCay, starting on June 26 and running through August, using one of its oldest and smallest cruise ships, the Vision of the Seas.
There have been no cruise ships in Bermuda waters since COVID-19 put the industry on pause a year ago.
A report in industry leader The Maritime Executive, quoted by media here, said the program would make cruises available to Americans outside the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention restrictions.
The normal capacity is about 2,000, although RCI has not announced if it will restrict numbers.
Michael Bayley, RCI’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We are thankful to the government and people of Bermuda for welcoming us to their beautiful island nation with open arms as Vision of the Seas’ new homeport.
“This is another step in our safe and measured return to sailing beginning in June. Travelers are eager to venture out gradually and start cruising again.”
The maritime executive said the cruises would only be available to travelers who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and people under 18 with clear test results.
Lawrence Scott, Bermuda’s Transport Minister, is quoted in the article as saying: “We look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean passengers back to our shores and the opportunity for pre-and post-cruise stays in Bermuda.”
“I am very excited that Bermuda will commence safe cruising this summer with our partner Royal Caribbean for their homeporting initiative from Bermuda to their private island at CocoCay,” he added.