Cruise operators mull restarting Bahrain routes
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Cruise operators Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean are considering plans to restart operations in Bahrain after pulling out amid political turmoil in the Gulf state.
Authorities in Bahrain said they had agreed to slash port fees by 50 percent to offset higher insurance costs in a bid to entice cruise operators back to the country, Bahrain’s Culture Ministry said.
“Discussions are also being held with Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean, who have expressed willingness to come to Bahrain,” said Mohammed Al Subaie, acting director for tourism marketing and promotion.
Only 29 of the 50 scheduled cruise port calls were made to Bahrain during the 2010-2011 season following continued unrest amid calls for political reforms led by mainly Shi'ites protestors.
German cruise firm, Aida, was the only operator to make scheduled stops during last season, but only made seven out of a 13 visits.