Cruise-ship visitors enjoy post-pandemic Tobago

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Moko jumbies entertain visitors who disembarked two cruise ships on Monday at the Port of Scarborough. – David Reid

THE New Year brought renewed hope for Tobago’s tourist sector as over 4,500 visitors arrived aboard the Costa Pacifica and the MS Amadea cruise ships at the Scarborough Port on Monday.

Both calls were made at 8am, with the passengers disembarking and being welcomed to the island by cultural performances, including moko jumbies, drummers, dancers and steelpan music.

Passengers disembark the Costa Pacifica and Amadea cruise ships at the Port of Scarborough on Monday. Photo by David Reid

The visitors bought souvenirs at several booths before proceeding on their various excursions.

From the Costa Pacifica, which brought mainly Spanish-speaking visitors from the Dominican Republic, 605 people disembarked, with 20 going to kayak at Bon Accord, 96 on island tours, 40 visited the Argyle Waterfalls, 11 went to Little Tobago, 36 to the rainforest, 95 to the famous Buccoo Reef, 36 to Mt Irvine beach, and 200 visited Pigeon Point.

From the MS Amadea, which came from Barbados, 353 passengers disembarked, with 67 going to the Argyle waterfall, 193 did island tours, 25 visited the south of the island, and 69 went to Pigeon Point.

Bajan Charmaine Butcher, who came aboard the MS Amadea, said she was excited to see what the island had to offer.

“This is my first time to Tobago. My family and I are here, and we came on the smaller ship from Barbados. We would be visiting the waterfall in Argyle.”

Carlson Lorde, who is also Bajan, said: “We’re just glad for the opportunity to be in lovely Tobago. We’ve heard so much and we’re definitely looking forward to diving in the waterfall. I am here with my old schoolmates.”

Lorde’s friend Genevie Ollivierre added, “I am in Tobago and I am ready for what the island has to offer in my short stopover. Argyle waterfall, here we come,” she laughed.

Visitor Joseph Percival was looking forward to the experience.

“I needed a break actually. After two years of being locked down during the pandemic, I am excited to be on a cruise but more so to be in Tobago. I am going to Pigeon Point with my family – the place of sun, sea and sand.”

A visitor takes a selfie with a moko jumbie after arriving on a cruise ship in Scarborough on Monday. Photo by David Reid

Percival’s wife, Joanne, shared similar sentiments.

“Pigeon Point has been well advertised so we will be capitalising on that adventure and embrace the sun, sea and sand while we’re here.”

The lifting of the mask restrictions following the covid19 pandemic has been embraced by Kyle Porter, another MS Amadea passenger.

“To be back travelling is something I never thought I would have experience, so hence I am going to make the best of it – worse yet, maskless. My friends and I will be doing the island tour.”

The cruise ships were expected to leave at 5pm and 6pm on Monday, respectively.

On New Year’s Day the Costa Fascinosa cruise ship arrived in Tobago with 1,954 passengers. The tourism sector benefited from 770 subscribing to tours.

A total of 42 vessels and a projected 64,000 passengers are expected to visit the island during the cruise-ship season. The cruise season comes after the peak July/August period and the successful inaugural Tobago carnival, from October 28-30.

The first cruise ship, Silver Moon, docked on November 20 with 1,040 passengers and crew, signalling the start of the island’s 2022-2023 cruise ship season, which runs until April.

Another cruise, MS Serena, with a total of 826 passenger capacity is expected to dock in Scarborough on Tuesday from the cruise line, Oceania Cruise.