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New Ocean Explorer Calls in Jacksonville

JAXPORT Cruise Terminal hosted the new Ocean Explorer from Vantage Deluxe World Travel for a one-time port-of-call visit on Wednesday.

The new expedition vessel was carrying a total of 54 U.S.-based passengers during its nine-hour stop in Jacksonville and is on long-term charter to Vantage from SunStone Ships.

JAXPORT served as the first port-of-call on this one-time itinerary originating in Nassau, Bahamas.

After departing JAXPORT, the ship is calling six other U.S. East Coast ports before returning to The Bahamas, according to a press release.

The Ocean Explorer’s visit is separate from JAXPORT’s homeported cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy. Carnival recently extended its pause on Ecstasy’s service from Jacksonville through February 2022. 

“As we eagerly await Carnival Ecstasy’s return to Jacksonville, we are pleased to welcome the Ocean Explorer on this port-of-call stop,” said JAXPORT Chief Operating Officer Fred Wong. “This visit showcases the capabilities and readiness of our cruise terminal, which includes enhanced safety measures to provide a safe experience for passengers. We look forward to providing this same level of world-class service to our Carnival Cruise Line guests when the time comes.”

According to a press release, JAXPORT’s Cruise Terminal is ready for the safe return of regular cruise service. The port has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines, including sanitizing the cruise terminal building before and after each cruise. In addition, clear physical barriers have been installed in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection debarkation area to facilitate social distancing, and sanitization stations are available at multiple locations throughout the terminal.

JAXPORT occasionally hosts port-of-call visits from cruise ships and passenger vessels. The most recent was in 2017 with the arrival of the luxury residential cruise ship The World.

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