Dominica, one of the hardest hit islands of the 2017
hurricane season, welcomed back its first cruise ship since Hurricane Maria
struck the island on Sept. 18.
The Sea Cloud II made a call on Dec. 28, sending passengers
ashore to tour Fort Shirley and go horseback riding at Purple Turtle Beach, said
Discover Dominica Authority.
Discover Dominica CEO Colin Piper said Dominica met with
cruise officials in Miami in December, and some lines are coming back,
including TUI Cruises, which has seven calls scheduled starting Jan 28. Piper said
Carnival Cruise Line plans nine calls during the summer. "We're still in
the process of confirming calls from smaller vessels," Piper said.
In a normal year, cruise ships account for 10% to 25% of the
visitors to Dominica, and tourism generates about 20% of GDP, Piper said.
Hurricane Maria hit Dominica as a Category 5 storm with 160 mph
winds before going on to strike Puerto Rico two days later.