The Nature Island is hoping for a robust 2020-2021 cruise season – hosting 306,000 passengers. After 176 calls in a storm-recovery 2018-2019 season, Dominica dropped to 257,647 passengers on 158 calls in 2019-2020. The 19 percent increase for 2020-2021 is most welcome, government officials said as the island enters the final stages of tourism development projects.
A long-awaited cruise village market has been in an advanced stage of planning, and the idea of cruise terminal has been floated.
Famed for its rivers, forests, volcanic lakes, and stunning flora and fauna, Dominica has long sought to balance accessing and preserving its natural wealth. The island has traditionally spurned large hotel and port projects for fear of damaging its pristine environment. Unfortunately, this has led to a fragile island infrastructure. It’s something the government is looking to upgrade as it looks to increase its cruise calls.
Local officials say they continue to “negotiate with Mother Nature” – a reference to the brutal 2017 hurricane season – and to put passenger safety above all else, which meant cancelling four cruise calls during last fall’s election season’s civil unrest. The protests were far from where cruise passengers generally travel, but the calls were canceled out on an abundance of caution, officials said.