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Bonaire welcomes the first Cruise ship after 18 months

On September 2nd, 2021 Bonaire welcomed the first cruise ship back after 18 months of a full stop due to the current pandemic.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) together with the Public Entity of Bonaire gave a warm welcome to Celebrity Equinox. 

From 6:00 in the morning, you could have seen a glimpse of the ship behind Klein Bonaire and at 6:30 the tugboat “Tribon” from Curacao welcomed the ship with a water salute. 

There was a small ceremony at the middle pier to commemorate this special day, where Elesier Angel, Cruise & Project Coordinator at TCB welcomed all present. Followed by speeches from Commissioner of Economics and Tourism affairs Hennyson Thielman, Miles Mercera CEO of TCB, Uclaytis Davelaar of Bonaire Cruise Tourism Association (BCTA), and Captain Dimitrios Manetas of Celebrity Equinox. 

Commissioner Hennyson Thielman mentioned that he is very happy and hopeful for the coming months although we are still dealing with the pandemic. He is confident with the current procedures that Bonaire has in place and the protocols that the Cruise ships implement. Furthermore, Miles Mercera mentioned on behalf of the entire tourism sector it was exciting to see all the smiling faces of our local entrepreneurs in Playa, because this of course means “work” and food on the table for the Bonaire community. The tourism industry, in particular the cruise tourism industry represents economic prosperity for all and is also a way to inspire the cruise passengers to return back to our island for a longer stay. Captain Dimitrios together with his colleagues thanked Bonaire for the warm welcome and mentioned that they are very excited to be back and will continue coming back. 

The Captain received different gifts from Bonaire’s government and tourism officials such as a Bonaire flag, Washington Slagbaai National Park book, Bonaire pin, a plaque by Maduro Travel and a large photo of Celebrity Equinox, taken when the ship was arriving at Bonaire. 

The ceremony ended with a great local ambiance with refreshments and live music.