Trinidad Offers Southern Charm, New Huge Drydock

Positioned outside most Caribbean cruise routes, Trinidad and Tobago will continue to host modest passenger traffic during the 2019-2020 season, but the two-island nation plans a dramatic expansion to attract ships in need of repair.

In September, the government signed contracts with China Harbor Engineering Company to construct a 420-meter drydock on the southern end of the Gulf of Paria on Trinidad’s west coast.

The facility will be able to accommodate Oasis-class vessels, said Charles Carvalho Sr., CEO of Carvalho’s Agencies.

The government is mulling development of a new cruise facility at a former U.S. naval base in Chaguaramas, at the northern end of the Gulf of Paria, Carvalho said.

Trinidad and Tobago estimated it will host 101,201 passengers from November 2019 to May 2020. That would be a decline from 2018-2019 when 110,301 arrived and 2017-2018, which saw 168,769 passengers. Getting traffic from Florida remains difficult, Carvalho said.

“We keep hearing that we are too far south. We are hopeful that this image of being too far south can change and that Trinidad and Tobago can once again re-capture the cruise market it once had.”

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