Norwegian calls at Banana Coast

Banana Coast welcomed its first large cruise ship on 15 October as Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel arrived in the Bay of Trujillo with more than 2,200 guests.

The visit marked the official opening of the first mainland cruise port in Honduras and was commemorated by a ribbon-cutting and traditional plaque exchange ceremony officiated by Ricardo Alvarez, vice president of Honduras. Alvarez was joined by Jose Lainez, mayor of Trujillo, Captain Sven Kenneth Harstrom, master of Norwegian Jewel, and Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grand Trujillo Autoridad.

Norwegian calls at Banana Coast

Ricardo Alvarez is joined by other representatives as he opens the new port

Despite initial congestion caused by locals wanting to welcome cruise passengers, Jorgensen said that the port has already identified improvements for the future. “We did experience a few first-call hiccups, which we expected,” said Jorgensen. “Before the ship departed at 5 pm, we already had started reviewing the day and have begun to implement some changes, and we expect improvements with every call going forward.”

Jorgensen added that almost all of the port’s shore excursions were sold out, while 900 guests were accommodated on organised tours. Norwegian expects that this high demand will be ongoing for the ship’s next 12 weekly calls.

“Overall, the call went extremely well,” said Jorgensen. “The product is a winner and the community and destination received very positive reviews from the exit interviews we conducted. The positive response was validated by Norwegian’s shore excursion team asking us to add more tour capacity as soon as possible.”

Banana Coast, which welcomed its first ever cruise call on 10 February from Travel Dynamics International’s US-flagged 130-passenger Yorktown, features a two-berth, post-Panamax dock, a 50,000 sq ft shopping facility and transportation facility on ten acres of beachfront land. Passengers can enjoy 15 different shorex options, including the signature Campo del Mar Nature Park and Beach Break trip, airplane rides to the Mayan ruins at Copan, horseback riding, waterfall explorations, mangrove boat rides, jungle ATV adventures, snorkelling at a starfish bank, and kayaking in Guaimoreto Lagoon.

Norwegian Jewel will continue to make a series of calls between October and April 2015, while five other cruise lines have scheduled calls at Banana Coast during the winter Caribbean cruise season. Holland America Line was the first major cruise company to commit to a series of calls from November 2014 to March 2015. In addition, Silversea Cruises is set to call in December 2014 and March 2015, while P&O Cruises and Oceania Cruises plan to call in the first quarter of 2015.

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One Comment

  1. I was very impressed with this port, the people and the horseback riding tour I booked there. I was involved in a “hiccup” myself; Due to a tendering boat issue, I missed the bus to my excursion. No worries as I was personally transported to the excursion at Campamento by Randy Jorgensen. We arrived shortly before the tour group so I was given a one on one tour of the resort. I can tell you that I fell in love with the owner Orleis and her beautiful family. Her sons rode with us on the trail and were just amazing. The beach was so beautiful and we could see the Jewel out in the ocean. The resort is gorgeous. This was my 7th cruise and I have to say that the Horseback Adventure & Nature Park excursion is the best excursion I have ever done!! I am already planning my next cruise and I will come back to Trujillo. FYI, bring cash as most of the vendors are not yet set up to take credit cards. Randy, thanks again for the ride!! Hugs!!!

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