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Bonaire festivities welcome first Carnival call, more to follow

Carnival Liberty makes first of nine calls to Kralendijk in 2015
Bonaire held festivities to welcome the first call by Carnival Cruise Lines when Carnival Liberty visited on Monday. Carrying 2,984 passengers, the ship docked at the island's port of Kralendijk.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire hosted a ceremony for passengers and crew at Wilhelmina Park to give them a taste of Bonaire's hospitality. The event highlighted various elements of Bonairean culture, from entertainment and local cuisine to arts and crafts.

Gov. Edison Rijna and commissioner James Kroon presented Carnival Libety Capt. Leonardo Contarino with a Bonaire flag and an inaugural call plaque. The ship's officers were presented with Gold Ambassador Medals and Bonaire coffee books by Tourism Corporation Bonaire representatives and Edsel Winklaar, commissioner of tourism and economic development.

Winklaar called the Carnival visit 'a testament to the hard work and perseverance of our government and cruise tourism representatives to increase port calls from key cruise lines operating in the Caribbean region. Bonaire offers a unique island experience, which is clearly a contributing factor to its appeal to cruise ship passengers,' he added.   

Carnival Liberty is scheduled to return to Bonaire for a total of nine calls throughout 2015. Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Valor will also visit this year, and the island will receive additional Carnival calls in 2016.