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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bonaire Welcomes Carnival Cruise Lines With Its Own Type of Karnival

Yesterday was a historic day in cruise tourism for Bonaire, when Carnival Cruise Lines arrived in the Port of Kalendijk for the first time.  The Carnival Liberty arrived mid-day and stayed late in the evening, and all the visitors could enjoy some home-grown Bonaire hospitality enjoying touring and activities throughout the day, and a mini-Karnival at night in Wilhelmina Park.

In the later afternoon, a small Bonaire contingent, made up of dignitaries from the island government and tourism office, went on board.  First everyone was treated to a stroll around the Promenade Deck, while the captain pointed out the various facets of the ship.  One point of interest is that all the ceiling’s glass globes were Murano glass, from Italy, and they shimmered even during the daylight.

The event was commemorated with a ceremony on board the Liberty, when Captain, Leonardo Contarino and Bonaire’s Lt. Governor Edison Rijna exchanged plaques highlighting Carnival’s first port of call.

Then, Lt. Governor Rijna, as a representative of the Crown, made the captain a Friend of Bonaire, by officially “pinning” him.  A Bonaire flag was displayed, and then a short reception was held.

But then it was time to show these first-time visitors to Bonaire exactly how the island can party!  A special event was held last evening in Wilhelmina Park with music and arts & crafts stalls, a brass band, and a taste of a Bonairean Karnival.

It was a magical evening in Kralendijk, and everyone--cruise ship visitors, stay-over visitors, and locals--enjoyed the ambiance!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 20, 2015 at 12:48pm AST
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Princess Cruise Lines Honors Mangrove Info Center, Bonaire Tours, and Seacow Snorkeling

On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013, Princess Cruise Lines honored several Bonaire companies for the high quality provided to the cruise line’s passengers engaging in shore excursions while in port on Bonaire.  A ceremony was held aboard the Emerald Princess to thank The Mangrove Info Center, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, and Seacow Snorkeling for the excellent service they all provide.

Owner/operator Elly Albers was on hand to receive the award to The Mangrove Info Center for their services provided during last year’s cruising season (2011/2012) for the most popular (by a vote by passengers) Bonaire Low Volume Shore Excursion.  This refers to a shore excursion which is limited to only a small number of passengers at one time.

Owner/operator Eric Witten was also on-board to receive the award to Seacow Snorkeling for the services they provided during last year’s cruising season.  Seacow was honored for being the most popular High Volume Shore Excursion, or an excursion which can accommodate about 32 passengers at one time.

Corine Gerharts was also present to receive the awards on behalf of Bonaire Tours & Vacations, as the handling agent for these shore excursions when ships of the Princess line are in port.

Congratulations to all!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 23, 2013 at 4:03pm AST
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Bonaire’s Art and Craft Market Offers Unique Shopping and Souvenirs

Many visitors to the Caribbean are familiar with the craft markets held on islands around the region.  In most cases, the same items are for sale no matter which island you visit.  But Bonaire has always had a unique character, and its Art and Craft Market certainly shows that!

The market sets up in Wilhelmina Park whenever a cruise ship is in port, as well as on Friday afternoons for a happy hour market.  It offers local and handmade products, food, music, and a fantastic ambiance.  Additionally, most of the stands are staffed with the artisans who created the art or handicraft items, which provides an opportunity to meet and chat with them and learn more about any item they sell.

There are nearly 40 individual tented stands, selling a variety of art, jewelry, images, driftwood art, string art, t-shirts, music CDs or DVDs, as well as natural soaps, body scrubs, and Bonaire Sea Salt.  As one wanders through the stands, Caribbean-style music plays, and local snacks and soft drinks are available.

The market has recently launched a new web site, which offers biographies about the artisans, as well as a schedule of when the market is open.  Click here to peruse it! (Source:  Bonaire Art & Craft Association)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 26, 2012 at 3:50pm AST
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tourism on Bonaire--Study Being Done to Determine its Worth

It’s clear to all that Bonaire’s economy is driven by tourism.  Both cruise and diving tourists provide employment and income for the people of the island. Of course, the activities of these tourists have an impact on our island, which can be both positive as well as negative. In addition to increased employment and income, a positive aspect includes a liveliness on the island and the possibilities for doing business that translate into economic growth for Bonaire. However, the impact on nature and the noise and congestion in and around Kralendijk can be negative aspects of tourism. Therefore, a new research project was launched last week to measure the overall effectiveness and the positive and negative aspects of tourism.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation/CN, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Universiteit van Wageningen, Marine Positive, and consultancy office WKICS are all working together on this project, funded by The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.

The project begins with Bonaire’s tourism experts, with representatives from Bonhata, Bonaire Hospitality Group, and CURO, who will oversee an “experience survey” that will be given to 1200 Bonaire visitors, asking them to evaluate how they experience Bonaire. Both cruise and stay-over visitors leaving the island will be asked to participate in this study. Concurrently, additional focus will be spent investigating the effect of tourism on Bonaire’s nature. A third study will survey Bonaire’s private sector to garner their opinions on this important subject.

The results of this project are to be used to provide policymakers with the correct information and analyses. Based upon the gathered information, Bonaire will be better able to manage its future tourism development and the long-term contribution to the industry and the prosperity of the island will be optimized.  (Source:  Rijksdienst CN)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 19, 2012 at 11:29am AST
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Monday, March 22, 2010

InfoBonaire.com, the Bonaire Information Site, Expands Site with New Data

NetTech, N.V. is pleased to announce the expansion of the popular InfoBonaire web site, the Bonaire Information Site, with new destination information for Bonaire visitors to assist with planning their vacations.

InfoBonaire®, the Bonaire Information Site™, was launched in 1997, and over the last 13 years has become well known as the definitive source for information about Bonaire as a destination, offering information about accommodations, restaurants, rental vehicles, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and more.  As new services become available on the island, InfoBonaire.com keeps the site fresh and timely with daily updates.

Accordingly, several new topics have been added to InfoBonaire’s wide scope of data.  Many visitors plan their vacations to Bonaire for diving, snorkeling, or windsurfing activities, but there’s a plethora of other activities to enjoy, too.  Visitors may now learn more about horseback-riding by visiting www.infobonaire.com/horsebackriding.html, or kiteboarding, by visiting www.infobonaire.com/kiteboarding.html.  Either of these activities offer exciting options for the traveler or family and friends.

Shopping is always a necessity while on vacation, whether it’s to purchase one’s own souvenirs or for those back home.  Visiting www.infobonaire.com/souvenirs.html offers a glimpse at special options for gift-giving, highlighting souvenirs which are made only with products from Bonaire or are about the island itself.  The Art and Handicrafts page, located at www.infobonaire.com/art_handicrafts.html, focuses upon where fine art and other local handicrafts can be found around the island, either for purchase or viewing, as artwork always provides a way to remember a favorite site or moment of a vacation.  And for those who want to be sure they’re in the height of fashion, even while on the beach, the Surf-wear Shopping page at www.infobonaire.com/surfwear.html offers a variety of options and tips.

As nearly all stay-over visitors utilize Bonaire’s airport, the new Airport page informs about the various services available at the island’s Flamingo Airport.  Visit www.infobonaire.com/airport.html for additional information.

Those not arriving by air usually enter for a day in port while on a cruise to the southern Caribbean, and the new Cruise Passenger Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page will answer many questions for those island visitors who must maximize their enjoyment of what Bonaire has to offer.  This page can be viewed by clicking www.infobonaire.com/cruise_FAQs.html.

Nearly all stay-over visitors rent a vehicle so they are mobile and can enjoy dining at different restaurants , visiting various dive or snorkel sites, or traveling through the island’s northern national park.  Although driving on Bonaire is very easy, the new Traffic page at www.infobonaire.com/traffic.html provides information about signage and right-of-way for those driving.

Since the invasive Pacific lionfish entered Bonaire’s waters, many visiting divers want to know what they can do to help with containment.  These divers can visit the new Lionfish page located at www.infobonaire.com/lionfish.html for more information and tips about this new species.

Viewers may easily access any of these new sections of InfoBonaire directly from menus on the home page and other key parts of the InfoBonaire web site.

“When we first launched InfoBonaire over a dozen years ago, our premise was simple—provide all possible information about Bonaire in a simple, friendly manner, and continually update the site to keep it current. Our efforts obviously have been rewarded because InfoBonaire has been, and remains, the top Bonaire web site in Google and many other key search engines,” said Jake Richter, founder and co-managing director of NetTech N.V.  He added, “This latest expansion continues our effort at keeping our content current, fresh, and most importantly, relevant, focusing on the real information visitors need.”

InfoBonaire is also the host of One-Stop Quotes™, which allows potential Bonaire visitors to easily check rates and availability for select accommodations and car rental companies with one simple online request, which is then transmitted automatically via an email to those local companies which the viewer selected.  Since its inception in 2006, One -Stop-Quotes has provided thousands of quotations and availability checks.  For additional information or to request a quote, visit www.infobonaire.com/one-stop-quotes.html.

NetTech N.V. is Bonaire’s largest and most well known Internet hosting and email company providing all levels of Internet marketing, design, specialized programming, and graphic services.  The company provides the popular web sites InfoBonaire (www.InfoBonaire.com), The Bonaire Insider™ (www.BonaireInsider.com), Bonaire Surveys™ (www.BonaireSurveys.com), and Paradise Rebates™ (www.ParadiseRebates.com). For additional information, visit www.nettech.an.

InfoBonaire is a registered trademark of NetTech N.V., and The Bonaire Information Site, Bonaire Insider, Bonaire Surveys, One-Stop Quotes, and Paradise Rebates are all trademarks of NetTech N.V.  (Source:  NetTech, N.V.)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 22, 2010 at 5:33pm AST
ArtCruise ShipsKite BoardingScuba DivingShoppingTourism AnnouncementsTransportationWater Sports • (0) CommentsPermalink


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Kralendijk Street Closures during 2008/2009 Cruise Ship Season

We are now well into the 2008/2009 cruise ship season on Bonaire.  In connection with these port calls, some roads will need to be closed to accommodate the pedestrian traffic and alleviate traffic snarls in the area of the south and/or north piers.  It is expected that Bonaire will see about 227,000 cruise passengers, which represents a 48% increase over last year.

Kaya Grandi will close on different dates when there are more than 3000 passengers in port.  Further, other areas, such as the oceanfront promenade by Karel’s Beach Bar and the street by the Passangrahan through to the North Pier (Town Pier), will be closed when there is a ship docked at the North Pier.

When a ship is docked at the South Pier, the area of Fort Oranje will be closed.  Please note that traffic on Kaya Simon Bolivar cannot turn or continue on toward the ocean when a ship is at the South Pier, as this area will be barricaded.

TCB asks everyone’s cooperation and understanding, and one can refer to the cruise ship schedule to check when these street closures will take effect by clicking here.  Any questions can be referred to Mr. Rolando Marin or Mr. Robert Evertsz at TCB by calling 717-8322.  To view the original press release (in PDF format in Papiamentu), click here(Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 04, 2008 at 9:10am AST
Cruise Ships • (2) CommentsPermalink


Friday, August 29, 2008

Woodwind Snorkel and Sailing Charters Bonaire Expands Web Site

The Woodwind, a trimaran sailing charter which offers snorkeling/sailing excursions on Bonaire with a professional guide, has recently expanded their web site to include a section for arriving cruise ship passengers.

This new area of their web site, available by clicking here, now makes it easier for those planning a port call to Bonaire to see exactly which excursions are available to them during their ship’s visit.

Additionally, there is a link to on on-line form which makes it easy and fast to request availability or make a reservation.  For additional information, or to make a reservation, visit the Woodwind web site(Source:  Woodwind Sailing Charters)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 29, 2008 at 11:57am AST
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Additional Changes in Street Closures in Coming Weeks Due to Cruise Ships in Bonaire’s Port

This coming Wednesday, February 13, 2008, both the Crown Princess and the Summit will be in Kralendijk’s port.  Both piers, Town Pier (North Pier) and the Customs Pier (South Pier) will be in use during this day.  The Crown Princess will arrive at 8:00 AM and will depart at 5:00 PM.  The Summit will visit from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM. There are five additional occasions in the coming weeks when both piers will be in use, and road closures will occur.

In connection with this, the previously published scheduled of street closures has been amended.  Instead, the following areas will be closed to any traffic not holding a required permit on February 13, February 20, March 5, March 12, March 19, and March 25:

1) The entrance to the parking lot next to Bestuurscollege (Government House).

2) Kaya Grandi will be closed.

3) The road by Karel’s Beach Bar.

4) The road by the Customs Pier (South Pier).

For those who require additional information, it is suggested they contact either Mr. Robert Evertsz or Mr. Rolando Marin at the TCB, phone 717-8322.  The Tourist Corporation Bonaire apologizes for any inconvenience this situation causes.

To view the TCB release in Papiamentu, click here(Source:  TCB Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 12, 2008 at 11:16am AST
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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Street Closures are Amended for February 6th, 2008, Due to Cruise Ships in Bonaire’s Port

This coming Wednesday, February 6, 2008, both the Crown Princess and the Summit will be in Kralendijk’s port.  Both piers, Town Pier (North Pier) and the Customs Pier (South Pier) will be in use during this day.  The Crown Princess will arrive at 12:00 Noon and will depart at 7:00 PM.  The Summit will visit from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

In connection with this, the previously published scheduled of street closures has been amended.  Instead, the following areas will be closed to any traffic not holding a required permit:

1) The entrance to the parking lot next to Bestuurscollege (Government House) will be closed from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

2) Kaya Grandi will be closed from 12:00 PM until 5:00 PM. 

3) The road by Karel’s Beach Bar will be closed from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

4) The road by the Customs Pier (South Pier) will be closed at noon.

For those who require additional information, it is suggested they contact either Mr. Robert Evertsz or Mr. Rolando Marin at the TCB, phone 717-8322.  The Tourist Corporation Bonaire apologizes for any inconvenience this situation causes.

To view the TCB release in Papiamentu, click here(Source:  TCB Bonaire)

Note Update February 5, 2008: We’ve been advised by the TCB that the two ships’ amended hours are as follows:  The Crown Princess will arrive at 10:00 AM and sail at 7:00 PM, and the Summit will arrive at 11:30 AM and depart at 7:00 PM. (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 02, 2008 at 6:21pm AST
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek to be on Bonaire in January

From January 20, 2008 through February 1, 2008, Jeopardy’s charismatic Alex Trebek will be on board the Sea Cloud II, along with two other special guests, for an unusual and new cruise itinerary with a special emphasis on exploring Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada, and two nature reserves in Trinidad.

Alex Trebek has challenged and entertained millions of viewers worldwide since Jeopardy!’s debut in 1984. Trebek now leads the blockbuster series into its 24th season—firmly establishing Jeopardy! as America’s Favorite Quiz Show®. As a result of his work on Jeopardy! and the series’ great success, Trebek has been honored with four Daytime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Game Show Host.” Trebek has appeared in more than 70 movies and television shows, most often appearing as himself, and he has been honored with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, he has been inducted into the California Broadcasting Association’s Hall of Fame and the prestigious Canadian Walk of Fame making him one of only a handful of people honored by both the U.S. and Canada. 

He’ll be joined by journalist Kenneth Avery Ringle and marine artist Geoffrey William Hunt, as well.  Limited to only 86 guests, the spacious and elegant Sea Cloud II is, arguably, one of the most magnificent sailing vessels in the world. A three-masted barque, she is 384 feet long with over 29,000 square feet of sails all set by hand.

Many feel that this is just the type of cruise ship Bonaire should court, as many times cruise visitors on smaller ships have a better understanding of Bonaire’s fragile ecosystems and they tend to be more interested in nature and conservation.

The cruise is sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.  For additional information, click here. (Source: Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 19, 2007 at 2:43pm AST
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