Dominica recorded a total of 170 cruise calls carrying 252,500 passengers during the just concluded cruise season.
This is compared to 28 cruise calls and 18,378 passengers in the 2017/18 cruise season.
The cruise season officially ended on Thursday April 25th.
The Discover Dominica Authority says cruise passenger arrivals fell short of the last normal cruise season (pre Hurricane Maria) by only 4%.
According to the DDA, of the 170 cruise calls, nine (9) cruise ships made their inaugural call to Dominica.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Dominica’s major natural sites saw a heavy flow of visitors. Visitors favored the Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Mero Beach, Ti Tou Gorge, Botanical Gardens, Middle Ham Falls, Morne Bruce, Wotten Waven Sulphur Springs, and Kalingo Barana Aute among others; enjoying River tubing, whale watching and snorkeling.
The DDA says a survey conducted at some of the popular Eco-Sites during the cruise season showed that 98% of visitors felt that the sites met or exceeded their expectations, 85% rated their overall experience at the sites as Excellent and over 75% rated individual elements (safety, cleanliness of site, and tour guides/site employees) as Excellent.
A Net Promotor Score of over 80% for all the sites combined, indicates that visitors are extremely likely to recommend the sites to their friends and relatives.
A Cruise Visitor Satisfaction Survey also showed that the majority of respondents (82%) said their overall stay was either “very enjoyable” or “enjoyable”. And 85% expressed the possibility of coming back to Dominica on a cruise, and 70 % for a land-based vacation.
Tourism officials also deemed the 2018/2019 cruise season a success because cruise stakeholders were able to earn an income following the tremendous loss sustained from the passage of Hurricane Maria.
The DDA says it will continue its efforts to promote Dominica as a desirable cruise destination.
For the upcoming 2019/2020 cruises season 164 cruise calls translating to 286,470 cruise passengers and expected, a figure the DDA hopes will increase by October 2019.