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50 years of cruising to the Bahamas for Carnival Cruise Line

Top officials at the festivities included, at center from left, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper, Carnival's Christine Duffy and Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis
Thursday marked 50 years of Carnival Cruise Line calls to the Bahamas, an occasion celebrated in Nassau by top officials.

They included Carnival President Christine Duffy, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Chester Cooper, tourism industry and other community and Carnival leaders and Miss Bahamas Chantel O’Brian.

Music, poetry, cake and junkanoo

The Royal Bahamas Defense Force Marching Band kicked off the festivities held in Pompey Square, followed by performances by singer Simmone Bowe and spoken word artist Joinel Juene. The event culminated with the cutting of a 50th birthday cake, and a traditional Bahamian junkanoo band brought everyone to their feet.

Duffy thanked the Bahamian people, government and industry leaders for their support.

2m Carnival passengers annually

'Since the company’s founding in 1972, Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamas have enjoyed a valuable and long-standing partnership,' Duffy said, adding that today sees 2m passengers annually arrive at five Bahamas ports: Nassau, Freeport, Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays and Bimini.

'Carnival, the oceans have beckoned you these 50 years and you have answered the call by providing superior service; a few firsts, including the first three- and four-day Bahamas cruises; and fun and entertainment for the entire family on your signature ships emblazoned with your unmistakable red, white and blue. Thank you for your continued partnership,' Davis said.

Pending port projects at Grand Bahama and Little San Salvador

Carnival is currently working with the government to finalize permits and approvals to develop two major projects in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the government of the Bahamas. They include a new destination primarily for Carnival on Grand Bahama, an investment of over $200m, and the expanded development of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line’s Half Moon Cay, an estimated $100m investment over time.

LJM Maritime Academy donation

Over the years, Carnival has supported the Bahamian community through hurricane relief efforts and initiatives such as scholarships for cadets. Through an ongoing partnership with the LJM Maritime Academy, Carnival provides scholarships for Bahamian cadets to obtain the education, skills and experience to work onboard. In honor of 50 years of visiting the Bahamas, Carnival presented a $50,000 contribution to the LJM Maritime Academy for specialized equipment to support cadet education.