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Bahrain officials say Royal Caribbean considering returning to the area


Bahrain's Culture Ministry tourism marketing and promotion acting director Mohammed Al Subaie claims that Royal Caribbean and Costa Cruises are considering returning their cruise ships to the country of Bahrain, after pulling the ships due to civil unrest.

"Discussions are also being held with Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean, who have expressed willingness to come to Bahrain."

"After the last two seasons were severely affected due to the unrest, we spoke to several of the cruise companies who said they were reluctant to come to Bahrain because insurance premiums had been substantially increased," he said.

"They said they could look at Bahrain favorably if there were other incentives so we took a decision to do that."

Bahrain agreed to a number of measures to offset higher insurance costs and Bahrain feels there is has been expressed willingness to return.  These measures include cutting the port fees in half for cruise ships.

The civil unrest in Bahrain meant cruise operators would have to pay an additional $300,000 in insurance charges over the course of the cruise season.