Cabinet has approved the Holland America Nieuw Statendam cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman on Tuesday, 28 December 2021. This is a change from the original Phase 4 of the Government’s reopening plan, which bans entry of cruise passengers to the Cayman Islands. This is the first cruise ship to be approved to call on Grand Cayman since cruise travel was suspended on Monday, 16 March 2020 as a preventative measure against Covid-19.
The Nieuw Statendam was approved to call on Grand Cayman in accordance with the following negotiated conditions:
a. Grand Cayman must be the first port of call.
b. Passenger capacity is limited to a maximum of 1,600 representing 60% capacity of the vessel.
c. All guests and crew having the final dose of an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise.
d. All guests must have a negative viral Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation.
e. All guests and crew going ashore must observe local requirements for wearing the require PPE such as facial masks and six feet physical distancing.
f. No unwell guests or crew will be allowed ashore.
“Currently, over 1,000 Caymanians are displaced due to the closure of our cruise ports, and as we safely reopen our borders, the cruise sector will be a key part of the tourism industry’s recovery. This single cruise ship call presents an opportunity for us to find the safest way to welcome back our cruise visitors while we can continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic,” he said. “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 stayover visitors, such as a pre-arrival testing.”
The Ministry and Department of Tourism will work with the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands to execute the single cruise ship call on 28 December.
“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,” the Minister said.