Royal Caribbean has decided to cancel another stop for one of its cruise ships at the cruise line’s private destination of Labadee in Haiti, due to ongoing protests. The Navigator of the Seas was scheduled to stop at Labadee on Thursday, January 21, 2016, but Royal Caribbean canceled the port call and withdrew all employees from the site.
This is the second cruise ship to skip a stop in Labadee, after protests prevented Freedom of the Seas from allowing its guests to go ashore earlier this week.
In a statement, Royal Caribbean explained “Royal Caribbean has not received any guarantees or assurances that there will not be any protests in the future. If a protest takes place while a ship is port, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee, or we may have to cancel the visit completely.”
In regards to upcoming stops in Labadee, Royal Caribbean noted, “We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti. At this time, we have not made any decisions regarding any additional upcoming port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Vision of the Seas, on Sunday, January 24.”
Sunday 24 being the day of the elections, it is likely that the call of the Vision of the Seas, scheduled that day is also canceled… What causes considerable harm to the image of Haiti in general and local commerce in particular. Recall that cruise tourism represents more than 60% of all visitors in Haiti.
In a conflict resolution approach, the representatives of the Haitian Government met Thursday the residents of the community of Labadee to start the dialogue process. Meanwhile, the Minister Villedrouin will meet today Royal Caribbean with a view to guarantee a early resumption of tourism activities in Labadee.