The Belize Tourism Board has announced that the country is preparing to welcome Carnival Vista, which is operated by Carnival Cruise Line, to Belize City on July 7, 2021. The ship will embark from Galveston, Texas and will be the first ship to call on Belize since the cruise industry in our region was suspended over a year ago. This is encouraging news for thousands of Belizeans that work in the tourism sector who are looking forward to welcoming cruise guests to our shores once again.
The health and safety of Belizeans and visitors is paramount as cruise tourism resumes. Carnival Vista will operate with at least 95 percent of its passengers and all of its crew having been vaccinated, and there will be rigorous protocols in place for disembarking passengers.
The health and safety protocols that were recently released by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) will guide the restart of cruise operations in Belize. These protocols outline the necessary adjustments and adaptations to be undertaken at each step of the cruise cycle - from home port, to destination and return. Under these protocols, which adhere to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, as this is a fully vaccinated ship a travel bubble will not be implemented. Cruise passengers will be allowed to go on both guided and self-guided tours and Gold Standard approved operations will be allowed to provide service to these passengers.
In order to ensure that the tourism sector is adequately prepared to provide a safe and secure experience for the passengers, crew and the destination, the BTB will offer online training sessions over the next few weeks. Tourism industry stakeholders are encouraged to keep abreast of real time information on cruise ship calls to Belize Ports via the BTB Cruise App: https://www.btbcruiseapp.com/ as these are changing daily. The BTB and the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations say they are committed to the full recovery of the cruise industry to pre-COVID numbers, and to enhance the Belize tourism product to make it more competitive within the region.