Increased Cruise Visits an Encouraging Sign

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The Cruise industry in Guyana has seen some increase in arrivals at local shores this year. The SAGA PEARL II called at GNSC’s La Penitence wharf in February with some 352 passengers and 268 crew for a one-day stopover  On 12th March, the sleek, elegant 100 m ‘yacht’, Le Levant docked at the Guyana National Industrial Company’s (GNIC) terminal.  GNIC is the local authorised cargo handler for the CMA-CGM Group to which the Levant belongs, and GNSC is the local agent for Saga Shipping of the UK. The MV Clelia II also docked at the GNSC terminal in April having sailed to Guyana from Sao Luis, one of the tributaries that flow off the Amazon River in neighbouring Brazil.

Passengers on board each cruise boat were conducted on city tours, on eco tours to the hinterland and to the Mighty Kaieteur Falls under the expert guidance of local tour operators Evergreen Tours, Wilderness Explorers and Wonderland Tours. They were able to purchase local souvenirs after being given a warm Guyanese steel pan welcome. On each occasion as well, the vessel captains hosted local dignitaries on board, including the subject minister, heads of the Tourism Associations and the companies at whose wharves the Cruise ships and yachts berthed. Gifts were usually exchanged.

SAG expects that arrivals of cruise ships, yachts and catamarans will increase in 2012, especially when the Demerara port is properly dredged and the requisite safety facilities installed or replaced. Recently, a representative of the US Coast Guard came to Guyana to meet with terminal operator GNSC and local tour operators to discuss improvements and security arrangements.  In the meantime, GNSC is examining the feasibility of constructing a special passenger terminal, and a number of reputable tour operators have expanded their marketing capabilities to sell to the rest of the world Guyana’s unique eco-tour adventure.