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Bonaire celebrates 55th Cruise Anniversary

November 29, 2022

On Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 the island celebrated the 55th Cruise anniversary. The celebration took place on Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ship Explorer of the Seas.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) in partnership with the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB) organized a meet & greet celebration for all cruise partners on the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas to remember the first cruise ship that visited the island on November 24th, 1967. The official ceremony started with an opening speech from the Commissioner of Economics and Tourism, Hennyson Thielman. “Bonaire has undergone major developments in the past 55 years, including an explosive growth in the number of cruise passengers during the past few years. Now we look forward to working together with all partners, on a sustainable relationship and new developments in which the passenger experience and the preservation of the nature and culture of our island are the main focus,” says commissioner Thielman.

A speech was also given by the following Royal Caribbean representatives Crystal Campbell, Director, Business Integration Destination Development, Charlene Gilmour, Project Management Destination development, and Christina Santamaria, Analyst, Caribbean & Americas – Destination Development: “We were delighted to mark this important moment for Bonaire onboard our ship Explorer of the Seas,” said Crystal Campbell, Director, Destination Development, Royal Caribbean Group. “Bonaire is a special place for our guests and continues to be a great partner, we look forward to ongoing collaboration and supporting Bonaire’s sustainability initiatives.”

The ceremony continued with a speech by the Harbor Master, Gunther Flanegin, who said: “I’m proud of being part of the cruise industry on Bonaire, where working together with love for the tourism industry has put Bonaire as number 1 in the region on multiple occasions. For such a small island this is something that we should value.”

Miles Mercera, CEO of TCB  shared in his closing speech the importance of tourism for our island and the many opportunities. “I am grateful to be part of the team and I recognize the collaboration and team effort for this great achievement. TCB will continue to support our cruise tourism stakeholders and partners for years to come. Pabien Bonaire.”

The festivities continued with honoring of the following people Robert ‘Rob’ Sint Jago, Edwin Domacasse, and Sue Felix.

TCB would like to thank all stakeholders in the cruise industry for the commitment and support. Additionally TCB recognizes the importance of our port agents that promote the island and have daily contact with the cruise lines servicing Bonaire.

Our most important asset is our people with a focus on our tour operators and taxis and front line service providers such as cruise market vendors, tourism employees etc. that work hard to share the Bonaire experience.

A big thank you to everyone and Pabien!