Banana Coast Hosts First Call of 2016 Cruise Season
After a successful first season, Banana Coast, the newest cruise port in the western Caribbean, hosted its first call of the 2016 winter cruise season at the deep-water Bay of Trujillo, Honduras.
P&O Cruises’ 30,200-ton Adonia arrived at Banana Coast Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.
Counting P&O’s Adonia, four lines have scheduled a total of 11 calls on four cruise ships in 2016 including Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Riviera, Holland America Line’s 1,350-passenger Veendam, and Thomson Cruises’ 1,506-passenger Dream. This will be Thomson’s inaugural season calling at Trujillo.
“Adonia arrived with 688 passengers aboard, and 395 — more than 57 percent — of them opted to take on organized shore tour,” said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Autoridad, which developed the port.
“The town showed well, the weather cooperated and all tours ran on schedule. The majority of comments we received revolved around the destination delivering the authentic experience passengers were looking for.”
In 2015, Banana Coast received a total of 54,440 cruise ship passengers, who gave the new destination high marks. Passenger satisfaction ratings for Banana Coast Tours was 89 percent, guides and staff received a 94 percent rating, tour sites were rated 94 percent, and 92 percent of passengers said they would recommend Banana Coast to friends and family.
In preparation for a successful second season, the port has been training tour guides, who are licensed by the municipality of Trujillo. All guides are trained in first responder and CPR skills, speak fluent English and have completed a certification course. Training consists of a 40-hour Tour Guide Program that focuses on customer service, storytelling, problem solving and emergency situations.
In 2016 Banana Coast Tours and premier visitor attraction Campo del Mar will offer 22 shore excursions to cruise ship passengers that include snorkeling, kayaking, waterfall explorations, horseback riding, beach breaks, nature expeditions, mangrove boat rides, jungle ATV adventures, zip line tours and a variety of other cultural, historical and gastronomic excursions.
As guests disembark tenders at the cruise terminal, they are greeted by local Garifuna musicians, dancers and performers in colorful native attire. Establishments at the visitor center include a Jade Museum and Jewelry, CocoLoco’s organic frozen coconuts, a duty-free liquor and gift shop, and a variety of kiosks offering refreshments and souvenirs.