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Grand Turk rebounding after hurricanes, to take ships in November

Carnival Splendor - one of the Fun Ships scheduled to visit Grand Turk in early November Carnival Splendor - one of the Fun Ships scheduled to visit Grand Turk in early November

Work is full tilt at Carnival Corp. & plc's Grand Turk Cruise Center to restore the destination to receive ships in November.

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed seven sailings to call next month: Carnival Magic's Nov. 4 cruise from Port Canaveral, Carnival Ecstasy's Nov. 5 cruise from Charleston, Carnival Splendor's Nov. 5 and Nov. 19 voyages from Miami, Carnival Glory's Nov. 11 and Nov. 25 sailings from Miami and Carnival Conquest's Nov. 25 cruise from Port Everglades.

Plus, further calls are booked in December.

The Turks and Caicos Islands sustained a one-two punch from hurricanes Irma and Maria, and Grand Turk was among the hard-hit destinations. However, a senior Carnival Corp. official told Seatrade Cruise News the pier is fine and work is going 24/7 to restore landside facilities and tours.

'We are excited to see Grand Turk making such strong progress on its recovery efforts to allow our brands to return there on Nov. 1,' said David Candib, VP development and operations, Global Port & Destination Development Group, Carnival Corp. & plc.

'The cruise pier did not suffer any damage while the cruise center facility suffered mostly cosmetic damages and loss of some landscaping. Our team is working around the clock with both local and outside experts to eagerly welcome back guests to the destination,' Candib added.

Candib's group is also working closely with the Carnival Cruise Line shore excursions team and local tour operators, providing them with direct assistance as they undertake their own recovery efforts in gearing up to welcome back passengers.

'We continue to collaborate and assist government on the overall island recovery efforts ahead of the arrival of the first ship,' Candib said.

Marc Melville, director of Jamaica-based Chukka tours, which has a staff of about 100 on Grand Turk—as well as sizable operations in Jamaica and Belize—said the message to cruisers is that once Grand Turk reopens: 'We need you to come back as soon as possible.'

Many people indirectly benefit from tourism, he added. Not only have they lost their personal effects, no ships are coming and they don't have any revenue.

'But on Grand Turk the beaches are there, the water is gorgeous and the welcoming people are getng ready to resume business,' Melville said.

Posted 06 October 2017

© Copyright 2017 Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd.

Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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