Tuesday morning, while the cruise ship Freedom of the Seas full of cruise passengers arrived in Labadee a number of people on small boats, organized a demonstration at the dock constraining for security reasons, the company Royal Caribbean, to cancel the scheduled port call to Haiti, Haiti Libre reports.
Following this incident the Government of Haiti in a statement “[…] condemns with the utmost vigor the incident that occurred, this Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at the tourist port of Labadee with the inopportune arrival of a group of protesters to the dock of this port. This situation caused a regrettable tension for cruise passengers arriving at the site.
Therefore, the Government believes that some different can be resolved through dialogue and calls for calm everyone. The government has taken steps to remedy this situation caused by social order demands. Government officials will have to meet as soon as possible, residents of Labadee area and thus start a dialogue process.
On the other hand, we want to reassure and give our largest tourism partner of the cruise ship company Royal Caribbean all the guarantee that the arrangements will be made by the government to secure the area and allow the tourism activity to continue on the site of Labadee as usual.
The Government of the Republic of Haiti reaffirms the implementation of its overall policy to ensure that Haiti can become one of the main tourist destinations in the Caribbean that can accommodate visitors from around the world.”
For its part in its statement Royal Caribbean explains “Today, when Freedom of the Seas arrived to Labadee, Haiti, the ship encountered a number of locals in small boats staging a protest. Although this protest was peaceful in nature, it was clear that if the protest continued, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee.
Therefore, Royal Caribbean cancelled Freedom of the Seas’ port call to Labadee. Instead, the ship will remain at sea and call to Falmouth, Jamaica, tomorrow, as planned.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti. At this time, we have not made any decisions regarding future port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Navigator of the Seas, on Thursday, January 21.”