Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Stephenson Hyacinth, has told the crew of the MV Insignia Cruise that they will be making a big mistake if they do not include Dominica on their list of itinerary.
Tourism stakeholders on Monday welcomed the cruise ship on its inaugural visit to the island.
“Captain, we are happy that you have chosen our shores to be here with us and to experience the life, the culture and the nature of this island. We boast ourselves as the Nature Island of the world and we primarily believe that nowhere in the world you will find an authentic product as we offer in Dominica,” Hyacinth said. “I am certain that one visit is insufficient for them to experience Dominica in its wholeness. It would be a mistake if this is your only visit to Dominica. You must come again.”
The permanent secretary said he is hoping that the feedback on the ground will be a good one.
“We hope that the feedback that you will be getting from your many passengers who are on shore will be positive and that it will encourage you to return,” he sad.
Hyacinth also boasted of that country’s hospitability, describing it as its trademark.
“In fact, that is our trademark,” he pointed out. “And so the relationship that you will experience out there is one that you will not experience in any part of the world. So we invite you to enjoy your stay here today and we are looking forward to seeing you again.”
He also noted that the island has been developing a number of other sites such as Ti-tou Gorge in Laudat for visiting tourists.
Meantime, captain of the ship, Jurica Brajcic, said he was happy to be in Dominica.
“This is our first call to Dominica and we are happy to be here,” he said.
He informed that the Insignia is one of the three sister ship’s operated by Oceania Cruises, which operates a total of five cruise ships.
Brajcic also mentioned that the MV Insignia has over 400 crew members with 40 different nationalities and has over 600 guests.
Another ship from the same company, the MV Regatta, will be coming to Dominica in December.
Tourism authorities said the visit of the MV Insignia is one of eight cruise ship inaugural calls for the 2014/2015 cruise season.
During the 2013/2014 cruise season, there were 188 calls to the island which translated into 282,404 passengers, according to figures by tourism authorities.
Approximately 191 cruise ships are expected to make calls to Dominica during the 2014/2015 season, bringing in 292,210 visitors.