Trump 'victory' cruise to Bermuda changes course
A “victory cruise” to Bermuda in support of outgoing US President Donald Trump has been called off, it was reported last night.
The news came as the Government confirmed it hoped the cruise ship industry, battered this year by the global Covid-19 pandemic, would return to the island next April.
But Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, said yesterday he was unaware that a cruise loaded with Trump supporters would be among the first to arrive.
The cruise was reported to have been called off by its organisers hours later.
Mr Scott said: “We have already put out the cruise ship schedule to our stakeholders, and the cruise you mention was not on that list nor, in checking with Marine and Ports, have any other applications come in.
“At this point in time we are not aware of any official Trump cruise that is coming in.”
The “For God & Country Victory Cruise” was still being billed online as sailing between New York and Bermuda between April 17 and 21.
Despite Mr Trump’s loss in the US election last month, the cruise was to proceed on board the Norwegian Joy, which was scheduled to moor for one day at Dockyard on April 19 before it headed back to New York.
But ZBM News reported last night that the online organisers of the Trump celebration, The Patriot Voice, had decided to take a different course and planned to take the group holiday elsewhere.
ZBM said the organisers claimed a “backlash from the cruise line and some residents of Bermuda” had forced the change.
Attempts by The Royal Gazette to confirm the cancellation were unsuccessful last night.
Cruise ship visits to the island – and the cruise ship industry in general – ground to a halt early this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health agencies in several countries have since worked with cruise ship operators to develop guidelines for the industry to resume business.
Mr Scott said it was hoped to welcome the first cruise ship passengers on April 7, but that it was still a “very fluid situation”.
He added: “We have to make sure that the Centres for Disease Control give approval, that the Healthy Sail panel gives approval, and that we get approval from the Ministry of Health here in Bermuda to resume the acceptance of cruise ships.”
Mr Scott said the reason he did not attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the just-opened terminal at LF Wade International Airport earlier this month was because it fell under the auspices of the Bermuda Airport Authority.
He said: “I felt as though it was appropriate for the chair of the Airport Authority, Lovitta Foggo, to be there for the ribbon cutting with her team.”
Mr Scott added: “It’s a purpose-built facility, which the island does need, and therefore – speaking strictly on the building itself – it’s a good addition to the country’s infrastructure and a good first and last impression for our visitors.”