Cayman Islands Still Hopeful for 2022 Return of Cruise Ships – Mystery Remains for Upcoming Scheduled Calls to Grand Cayman

As we near the end of 2021, we begin to turn our focus to 2022, the year which the Cayman Islands government targeted the return of cruise tourism at the popular Western Caribbean tender port of Grand Cayman. In November, there was an agreement with Holland America to bring the Nieuw Statendam in on December 28, 2021.

The Nieuw Statendam would have been the first cruise ship to bring passengers to the island since the March 2020 industry shutdown. However, on December 22nd this plan was scuttled according to a press release due to a recently implemented policy requiring all travelers to be tested the day prior to their departure to the Cayman Islands. While strict embarkation protocols are in place for passengers prior to boarding the ship, the day prior testing requirement for disembarkation in Grand Cayman unfortunately could not be accommodated.

The Nieuw Statendam’s scheduled call was set up to stress test the safety protocols and policies that are in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Cayman Islands’ Ministry of Tourism and Transport worked in collaboration with representatives from the Holland America Line and its parent company Carnival Corporation, to ensure that passenger capacity was reduced to a maximum of 1,600, and that Grand Cayman was the first port of call on the ship’s itinerary. Additionally, all passengers and crew disembarking in Grand Cayman had to be fully vaccinated.

Acting Minister for Tourism Hon. Dwayne Seymour stated that “the Cayman Islands Government does not take this decision lightly and the inconvenience to all concerned, including the cruise line, cruise businesses and passengers is regretted. While uncertainties persist regarding the spread of the virus, adopting a cautious approach is the right thing to do. The cancellation of this single cruise ship call will ensure that the Cayman Islands is better able to protect our people and we look forward to welcoming cruise tourism business in 2022 when it is safer to do so.”

The last part there is interesting… Aside from an arranged test cruise ship call, the Cayman Islands reopening plan as of the day of publication, in Phase 4. It was previously stated, the resumption of cruise tourism will not be considered by the government until Phase 5 is completed. Over the summer a late January 2022 date was floated for when the Cayman Islands Government would evaluate the resumption of cruise tourism.

This brings me to my point, Disney Cruise Line has yet to address partially addressed (see update below) the elephant in the room as Grand Cayman remains on itineraries beginning the first week of January 2022 during the Disney Fantasy’s 6-night Western Caribbean cruise.

UPDATE: Disney Cruise Line Modifies January 2022 Itineraries Dropping Scheduled Calls at Grand Cayman

The following is a list of upcoming calls for the first 6-months of 2022.

Bottom line, the Cayman Islands Government makes the decision here and it would seem there may be something up since we haven’t heard of any itinerary changes. Possibly, this could be a cruise by cruise wait and see decision as the government and the cruise lines discuss plans.

9 Replies to “Cayman Islands Still Hopeful for 2022 Return of Cruise Ships – Mystery Remains for Upcoming Scheduled Calls to Grand Cayman”

  1. NitaRx

    We are on the January 29th Fantasy sailing and they still haven’t cancelled Grand Cayman on our itinerary. I am 99.99999% sure we will not be stopping there . Really disappointed with DCL to not have officially notified us yet of the port cancellation

  2. Wanda

    Why do those cruise change Itinerary to Nassau Bahamas do they not know everybody is sick of Nassau Bahamas. That is why we picked grand cayman island and Nassau. They should be replacing it with a southern Ireland St. Kitts St. Lucia etc.

    1. Bethany Bittinger

      Yes they should!! The main reason I booked is because of Grand Cayman. Now we aren’t going anywhere special!!! ???

  3. Dale Gerger

    We just got notified by Princess that our cruise on Feb 13th is not going to the Cayman Islands. We are not even getting another port. Just a extra day at sea and 2 hours earlier in Mexico. We booked this cruise because we wanted to go to the Caymans.


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