The Vanuatu Government is delighted to welcome back the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), which is scheduled to resume its cruise itinerary to the country during the cruising trial this summer.
According to a statement from the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), the first arrival will be the Ovation of the Seas at Mystery Island on 12th of November, followed by an overnight visit planned for the 19th-20th of November at Port Vila, with further sailings planned throughout the 2022-2023 season on both Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest entrant into this region, now home porting from Brisbane.
Royal Caribbean has been working hand in hand with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the VTO on the safe and successful resumption of cruising to Vanuatu.
“We look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean and their guests back to enjoy our island communities once again, cruising provides a vital economic lifeblood to Vanuatu,” caretaker Minister of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, James Bule said.
Pre-pandemic, cruising was a key source of income and employment for Vanuatu.
“With cruising comes jobs and security for locals who rely on the cruising supply chain, so we look forward to Royal Caribbean’s cruise fleet to return to Vanuatu next month. It’s been more than two years since we’ve welcomed cruises to our islands, and we Welkam back their safe return to rebuild our economy and recover our tourism industry,” said Mrs. Geraldine Tari, Acting Director for DoT, as well as the current Chairperson of the National Cruise Tourism Management Committee (NCTMC).
“We are working actively with key stakeholders across all Ports of Call to ensure that reopening happens in a smooth and safe manner.”
Adela Issachar Aru, Chief Executive Officer of the VTO, added, “Vanuatu has always been one of the top regional cruise destinations in the South Pacific, which was manifested during the pre-Covid era, and even now post-pandemic as Vanuatu re-opens to the world, we have noted a strong demand from our international visitors to return for a cruise experience in Vanuatu. We have been working with various cruise operators locally to ensure that their tourism product experiences are market ready with relevant content and itinerary specials on offer for our cruise visitors to answer the call of Vanuatu once again, creating their favorable Vanuatu moments.”
Royal Caribbean has been sailing to the South Pacific Islands, including Vanuatu, for many years and has always focused on supporting the needs of the local community.
During the challenges that the past few years bought to the region, Royal Caribbean worked with the local community to provide solar lighting for the installation in community gathering spaces in Port Vila; facilitated school upgrades, and provided much needed school resources, food provision and beach cleanups on Lelepa Island; and providing new market stalls chairs and wash stations, for Mama’s Markets in Manples.
“Our guests love visiting Vanuatu for its natural beauty and friendly communities, and we are thrilled to be returning in November,” said Gavin Smith, Vice President of Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand.
“Throughout our many years sailing to Vanuatu, we’ve always worked closely with the government and people of Vanuatu through our RCCL Cares program to champion and support the Vanuatu community.”
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