Curaçao experienced a significant influx of visitors this past Wednesday, June 14. The city center was abuzz with over 10,000 cruise passengers, who disembarked from two prominent cruise ships: the Mardi Gras and the Carnival Horizon. These ships, belonging to the esteemed fleet of Carnival Cruise Line, brought a combined total of 11,320 passengers to the island.
Of notable significance was the maiden call of the Mardi Gras cruise ship at the port of Curaçao. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) collaborated with the ship’s agent, Maduro Shipping, to organize an exclusive inaugural ceremony onboard. During this remarkable event, an exchange of plaques took place, symbolizing the unity between the ship and the island. Esteemed speakers, including the ship’s captain, representatives from CPA, CTB, Customs, and the agent, Maduro Shipping, addressed the attendees, extending a warm welcome to the captain, crew members, and passengers.
Underscoring the significance of the cruise industry for Curaçao, the ceremony highlighted its profound impact on the local economy and tourism sector. The arrival of the Mardi Gras, in particular, marked a historic milestone for Curaçao. Boasting an extraordinary capacity of 6,600 passengers, the Mardi Gras arrived with a record-breaking number of 6,407 passengers on board. As the first vessel belonging to the renowned “Excel class” to grace Curaçao’s shores, it stands as one of the largest ships within the Carnival fleet, measuring an impressive 337 meters in length and weighing 184,000 GT.
However, it is the unique propulsion system of the Mardi Gras that truly sets it apart. Distinguished as the first ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), it represents a significant step towards sustainable maritime operations. Recognizing the potential of this groundbreaking technology, the Curaçao Ports Authority maintains close collaboration with key stakeholders, including Curoil, Aqualectra, and RdK, to explore future possibilities of LNG bunkering facilitated by Curoil.
As Curaçao embraces this remarkable surge in cruise tourism and celebrates the arrival of the Mardi Gras, the island’s charm and allure continue to captivate travelers from around the globe. With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and commitment to sustainable practices, Curaçao stands as an exemplary destination within the Caribbean region.