Carnival Miracle to visit Aruba fifteen times

ORANJESTAD — The cruise ship Carnival Miracle will be visiting Aruba and Curaçao fifteen instead of eleven times this year.


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The vice-president port operations Domenico Tringale of Carnival Cruises announced this. The objective is to work towards additional calls from the shipping company for 2011.

Tringale announced the expansion plans after a meeting with the Minister of Tourism, Labor & Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP). Last year, Carnival Cruises had announced that they would be returning to visit Aruba between October and March. At that time, there had still been a question of cruise ship Miracle visiting the Aruban harbor and Curaçao sixteen times. This was reduced to eleven times at the beginning of this year, but has now been raised to fifteen again. The intention is to visit Aruba and Curaçao with two ships but Tringale could not provide any specific information on this yet. "Organizing the two ships is still in the planning-phase."

Carnival Cruises had removed Aruba and Curaçao from its travel route in 2006 because of the increase of fuel prices. The two islands are the most southern destinations for Carnival Cruises and the most expensive for the shipping company regarding fuel consumption. "In the meantime, the fuel prices are under control again for the time being. Let’s hope it stays that way", say Tringale. He hopes that the company will visit the islands more often with the Minister’s cooperation. Minister Oduber had recently visited Curaçao and had spoken with APA-director Alfonso Boekhoudt and the authorities about cooperation. "Increasing the number of calls is the first result of this cooperation", says Oduber. The Minister expects to receive a proposal from Carnival Cruises next week for so-called year-round calls, whether they will be visiting only during the high season or mooring their cruise ships during the entire year.

Oduber also spoke with representatives from other cruise companies, and with Michele Paige, chairperson of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Expanding the capacity of the cruise harbor had been discussed, as well as how to attract more ships to the island. "More ships, more passengers, and more crewmembers", says Paige. "We want to improve the first impression of passengers and crewmembers through music events and more kiosks." FCCA and Minister Oduber will be focusing on expanding the facilities. "Tourists should have more possibilities to view different areas of the island, and we should increase the number of diners and shops. The ships should also extend their stay in the harbor of Aruba." Paige emphasizes the good quality of the product Aruba currently offered to cruise tourists and that both the island and the shipping companies benefit from a closer cooperation. According to Minister Oduber, the construction of a new cruise terminal is of great importance in the mutual plans with FCCA. "I have shown them the plans and explained that Aruba, contrary to other destinations, wants a more open and park-like set up for their cruise harbor."