Barbados is one of the most popular tourist vacation destinations in the world and as a consequence the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal is a favorite port of call.
Since the Barbados ventured into cruise tourism in the early 1980's, 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:
» Diamonds International who are the largest direct-to-the-customer diamond dealer in world; with their parent company buying non-conflict diamonds directly from DeBeers, they do their own cutting, polishing, designing and setting, effectively taking out the middlemen and passing those savings on to you!
» Colombian Emeralds International is one of the largest and most trusted retailers in the region, welcoming travellers 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 on board Norwegian Cruise Lines.
» Little Switzerland, a retailer of fine watches, jewelry and giftware, also has an outlet at the terminal.
Below are just some of the cruises that are visiting Barbados in 2012 and 2013.
» Carnival Cruises, Carnival Victory
- 2012 Sails: Sep 30, Oct 7, Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Nov 25, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16, Dec 23, Dec 30
- 2013: Jan 6, Jan 13, Jan 20
7 Days - Starting in San Juan with stops in St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St Kitts, St. Maarten.
» Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), NCL Norwegian Sun
- 2012 Sails: Oct 14, Nov 4, Nov 25, Dec 16,
- 2013: Jan 6, Jan 27, Feb 17, Mar 10, Mar 31, Oct 20, Nov 10, Dec 1, Dec 22,
- 2014: Jan 12, Feb 2, Feb 23, Mar 16, Apr 6
10 Days - Starting in Miami with stops in St. Thomas, Roseau, Bridgetown, Castries, Philipsburg
» Cunard, Queen Victoria
- 2012 Sails: Oct 19
- 23 Days - Starting in Southampton, England, at Sea, and stops in Ponta Delgada (Asores), Portugal, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, BVI, Grenada, Barbados, Madeira, Portugal, and Southampton, England
» Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), NCL Norwegian Star
- 2012 Sails: Oct 21
14 Days - Starting in New York with stops in St. Thomas, St. John's, Bridgetown, Willemstad, Oranjestad, Cozumel, New Orleans
» Royal Caribbean (RCL), RCL Jewel of the Seas
- 2012 Sails: Oct 28
14 Days - Starting in Boston with stops in Charlotte Amalie, Basseterre, Castries, Bridgetown, Willemstad, Oranjestad, Tampa
» Holland America (HAL), HAL Rotterdam
- 2012 Sails: Nov 2
34 Days - Starting in Rotterdam with stops in Southampton, Ponta Delgada, Road Town, Philipsburg, Castries, Soufriere, Kralendijk, Oranjestad, Willemstad, Port of Spain, Bridgetown, Funchal
» Oceania Cruises, Oceania Regatta
- 2012 Sails: Nov 2
25 Days - Starting in New York with stops in Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, Hamilton, Gustavia, Castries, Port of Spain, Cruising the Amazon River, Santarem, Boca da Valeria, Manaus, Parintins, Devil's Island, Bridgetown, Fort de France, Virgin Gorda, San Juan, Miami
» Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Summit
- 2012 Sails: Nov 3, Nov 17, Dec 1
7 Days - Starting in San Juan with stops in Bridgetown, Castries, St. Johns, Philipsburg, Charlotte Amalie
» Holland America (HAL), HAL Noordam
- 2012 Sails: Nov 5, Nov 26
11 Days - Starting in Fort Lauderdale with stops in Philipsburg, Castries, Scenic cruising Soufriere Bay, Bridgetown, Fort-de-France, Daylight passing Mount Pelee, Roseau, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay.
By: Brett Callaghan