More than 2,300 passengers from the Costa Luminosa flocked to the Port Lucaya area yesterday to see what the island had to offer.
Vendors, restaurant owners and locals alike enjoyed the bustling activity in the Port Lucaya Marketplace despite the cool temperatures
Thrilled about the opportunity, PLM Entertainment & Marketing Coordinator, Karen Ferguson-Bain gave more information on the new vessel to the island.
“The management of Port Lucaya Marketplace is very excited because the Costa Luminosa is a passenger vessel that originated out of Miami Florida. It’s a 10-day cruise whereas Grand Bahama is their first port of call and so for persons here in Port Lucaya, as well as the entire island of Grand Bahama it is a great day for us because we have 2,344 passengers that will come in directly to Port Lucaya,” she said.
“Our restaurants, stores, straw vendors, taxi drivers, tour operators people around the beach … everyone stands to benefit. With them coming directly into Port Lucaya, they’ve booked tours so we’re doing everything that we can to make sure their experience is a great one.”
Ferguson-Bain also said she was pleased to see local tour operators get a fair share of business as two companies were able to benefit from the ship’s arrival.
“I’m happy about Reef Tours and Superior Water sports they are also benefiting from the passengers coming in because they’re able to tender those passengers to the Port Lucaya Marketplace from the Costa Luminosa so everybody wins,” she said.
“It feels great and we’re so happy that God has allowed the weather to be smooth because it helps in getting people off of the ship.”
GBPA President Ian Rolle said this is only the beginning for touristic activity on the island.
“I think a lot of things are happening in Grand Bahama right now and this is going to be the norm in regards to the level of tourists in Freeport. We have the Sunwing hotel operation taking over the old Reef Hotel and that is going to do wonders for this island,” he said.
“This particular cruise on board the Costa Luminosa, this is really organized by Fred Hall, from Reliance Maritime Agency, and what we wanted to do is basically meet with the captain of the ship and persons involved with the Costa Grand to encourage more of these visits to Grand Bahama. I think 2014 and beyond is looking very positive for Freeport.”
The vessel left Grand Bahama at 6 p.m. yesterday with Grand Turk as its next stop.
(Published Saturday, January 18, 2014)