(NassauGuardian)Celebrity Cruises is bringing four new ships to three South Florida ports and plans to include The Bahamas in those new itineraries, the company said in a statement.
“Celebrity Cruises, the award-winning premium cruise line pioneering resort travel at sea, is thrilled to unveil all-new Caribbean offerings for the winter 2024-2025 season on board four stellar ships – Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Summit,” the cruise line said.
“Embarking from three Florida ports: Central Florida’s Port Canaveral, West Florida’s Port Tampa Bay, and South Florida’s Port Everglades, travelers will enjoy more than 40 new itineraries, all open for booking on August 22, 2023.
“Catering to the diverse needs of today’s consumer, the new program offers a wide range of experiences, from rejuvenating quick getaways to weekly seven-night cruises, and up to nine-night escapes.
“Transporting guests to tropical hotspots from Belize and Bimini to Grand Cayman and San Juan, a select number of itineraries also offer the opportunity to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.”
Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean Group and CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s most popular destination. Many of the new itineraries will include the private island, according to Celebrity.
The Bahamas’ port tax increases are set to go into effect on January 1, 2024. Port taxes will increase from $18 to $23 per person, for stops at Nassau, Freeport and Bimini – a change that was originally scheduled for this summer.
The taxes have also increased to $25 per person for cruise ships that stop at a private island, without also stopping at another Bahamian port.
Additionally, the government will also levy a $5 per person environmental tax and a $2 per person tourism enhancement tax on cruise passengers.
In terms of those new fees, Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) guests who have already booked and paid for a cruise bound for The Bahamas next year will have to pay the difference on the increase in port taxes once they board the ship, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises, parent company of RCI and Celebrity Cruises, told Travel Market Report recently.
Some other cruise lines have not yet decided how to treat that change in port fees for passengers who have already booked for 2024.