Barbados is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, making the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal a favorite port of call for cruise ships.
Since Barbados ventured into cruise tourism in the early 1980s, it has registered growth in this sector.
In 1985 Barbados welcomed just over 127,000 cruise passengers, and in 2004 that number jumped to a record 812,683.
The most recent statistics, which are for 2011, show cruise arrivals as 726,543.
The cruise industry globally has grown at about 7 percent annually over the past 30 years, and this trend is expected to continue.
Mindful of that, Barbados plans to construct a new terminal called the Barbados Sugar Point Cruise Facility, in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited.
It will be done in two phases, the first of which is estimated to cost about three hundred million dollars and will involve the construction of two cruise piers, arrival and departure facilities as well as shops and parking lots.
The Barbados Sugar Point Cruise Facility project is expected to be completed in two years (2014).
Already though, the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal has a variety of stores offering a range of products and duty-free shopping for anyone who takes a cruise to Barbados.
Among the more notable retailers there is:
— Colombian Emeralds International is one of the largest and most trusted retailers in the region, welcoming travelers on their adventures. We offer precious reminders of their journeys to exotic locations. Colombian Emeralds International has expanded to over 60 locations throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and onboard Norwegian Cruise Lines.
— Diamonds International who are the largest direct-to-the-customer diamond dealer in the world; with their parent company buying non-conflict diamonds directly from DeBeers, they do their cutting, polishing, designing and setting, effectively taking out the middlemen and passing those savings on to you!
— Little Switzerland, a retailer of fine watches, jewelry, and giftware, also has an outlet at the terminal.
By: Brett Callaghan