Dominica Update
Ministry of Tourism's Chief Technical Officer, Rosillia Lawrence, receives plaque from MS Vista's captain

Dominica Welcomes Five Inaugural Cruise Ships in November 2023

The destination is projected to receive 222 cruise calls for the 2023-24 cruise season

Destination Dominica recently welcomed its fifth inaugural cruise ship for November 2023. MSC Explora I made its inaugural call to the island at the Woodbridge Bay Port on November 28. The vessel, sailing under the flag of Malta, has a passenger capacity of 1,473 and will make four calls during the ongoing season. Passengers engaged in various tours, including visits to Mero Beach, Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Indian River, and the Cabrits National Park.

Throughout the month, the island welcomed for the first time MV Carnival Venezia of Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line, LE Bellot of France’s Ponant Cruises, MV Marella Voyager – the largest of the British cruise line Marella Cruises, MS Vista of Miami-based Oceania Cruises, and MSC Explora I of Europe-based MSC Cruises.

Each ship was warmly greeted by key government officials and corporate stakeholders during commemoration ceremonies. Personalized plaques were exchanged between government officials and each ship’s captain at the respective ceremonies.

A total of 222 cruise calls translating to over 360,000 passengers are anticipated for the 2023/2024 cruise season. As of November 22, Dominica had received 35 cruise calls and brought a total of 23,911 passengers to the destination. Additionally, 20,454 passengers disembarked with 10,837 visitors engaging in organized tours to sites such as Emerald Pool and Trafalgar Falls, as well as adventure activities like river tubing and whale watching.  

The economic value of cruise tourism to a destination cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that six out of ten cruise travelers revisit the cities they explored for extended, land-based stays. Additionally, the industry creates avenues for local businesses to expand and promote their offerings to broader audiences. Earlier this year, various cruise visitors described the Nature Island as “a lovely place” filled with “friendly” people. Cruise reviews further shared that Roseau is a “nice town with good excursion options” and “wonderful” food.

Discover Dominica Authority maintains its commitment to promote Dominica as an optimal tourist destination to cruise and stayover visitors by ensuring its unique value is emphasized. The Authority has sustained its momentum in driving economic development by increasing travel and tourism to the Nature Island in a post-pandemic era. This will continue to be explored through a host of activities including niche development , industry-specific training, and effective marketing campaigns.