May 16, 2008
Adiós Empress: 2007-2008 Cruise ship season ends

The 2007-2008 cruise ship season officially came to an end when Spanish cruiseliner Empress departed Port Kingstown Wednesday evening.{{more}}

Tour guides who conducted tours on Wednesday said the season had been a busy one, with many ships making their debut calls to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

One such ship was Empress which was touted to call last season but was a no show. Formerly Empress of the Seas, Empress is now the flagship of Spanish line Pullmantur, which was acquired by industry giant Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Last season, the Blue Moon from Pullmantur began calling in Kingstown, but was replaced mid-season by an older ship, Holiday Dream, which was slated to call every Tuesday until January 2008, but was diverted to Grenada after a few out of season calls. Holiday Dream continued to call in Mayreau on Wednesdays but was diverted to the mainland when the waters were too rough.

On December 27, Queen Elizabeth II, which was one of the oldest liners in operation, retired after its debut call to SVG. It will now be used as a floating hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Michelle Forsythe of Corea’s Hazells Inc. told SEARCHLIGHT that another successful season had come to an end and that there were many challenges, but they couldn’t have done it without the hard work and dedication of the tour guides, “They deserve most of the credit,” she said to loud applause from the guides that were present.