First cruise ship in 20 months to arrive in Grand Cayman in December

Nov 25, 2021

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Transport announced on Wednesday the long-awaited arrival of the first cruise ship to George Town, signaling the return of cruise ships to the Grand Cayman. Holland America Lines’ ms Nieuw Statendam will arrive on 28 December, making it the first cruise ship to visit the Cayman Islands in almost 20 months.

Tourism and health officials have set strict safety protocols and conditions in order for Nieuw Statendam to arrive at Grand Cayman. The conditions include: Cayman Islands must be the first port-of-call during the voyage, 60% guests occupancy, passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the start of the cruise, visitors disembarking the ship must observe local requirements such as wearing face masks and 6 feet physical distancing, guests need to have a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 2 days of their embarkation. 

Holland America Line has agreed to these conditions and will adjust Nieuw Statendam seven-day itinerary to the western Caribbean which departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida 26 December, sailing with limited capacity with 1,600 passengers.

Commenting on the decision to allow cruise ships back to the Cayman Islands, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said the first cruise ship call will allow authorities to find the safest possible way to welcome back cruise passengers.

“Grand Cayman will be the first port of call for the Holland America Nieuw Statendam, and the capacity will be limited to 1,600 passengers. Guests and crew aboard the ship will be subjected to exactly the same requirements as stay-over visitors, such as pre-arrival testing,” Mr. Bryan said. “This has been an ongoing conversation with the cruise industry about what conditions are required to make this a safe experience for everyone involved and how to make that feasible. We thank Holland America for being an excellent partner and leading the way for this new era of cruise travel in the Cayman Islands for the foreseeable future. My people can be assured that my approach and negotiation strategy is for quality first,” he added.