Open again Cruise ships return to Turks
Some passengers relax on the beach at the pier in Turks and Caicos.

DESPITE going another quarter without revenue, there appears to be brighter days ahead for Margaritaville (Turks) Limited (MTL) as cruise ships return to Grand Turk Cruise Port in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

MTL operates a bar and restaurant at the port, catering to the variety of cruise passengers who stop on the itinerary of cruise lines in the nothern Caribbean. Since the advent of COVID-19 in March 2020, the port had been closed due to the risk arising from the cruise industry. As a result, MTL recorded a net loss of US$1.38 million ($214.24 million) for its 2021 financial year (FY) ending May 31, 2021. This was also reflected in the company's stock price which dropped 63 per cent to $16 in 2021.

During its most recent quarter, which ended November 30, 2021, the company disposed of US$504 worth of inventory to avert spoilage. With operational expenses of US$337,209 and other income of US$9,632, MTL recorded a net loss of US$327,577 ($50.77 million). For the first six months of the 2022 FY, MTL's revenue for the period amounted to US$1,046 with a gross profit of US$215. Net loss for the first half totalled US$606,269 with a net loss per share of US$0.00898.

Due to the company having no cash generation, it received a loan of US$300,000 to prepare for the resumption of cruising activities along with US$156,425 in owing to related companies. Total assets amounted to US$3.95 million while equity decreased to US$2.31 million.

With a fully scheduled calendar for 2022, Carnival Corporation introduced its Carnival Freedom on December 16 along with the arrival of the Mardi Gras on January 8. The Grand Turk cruise call calendar for January only has two empty slots and a booked month of February. However, the rise of Omicron and concern for COVID-19 saw Carnival Freedom denied entry on Jauary 7 which was nalso denied entry to several other Caribbean territories.

“We are delighted to bring Carnival Freedom back to Grand Turk and to offer our guests the opportunity to experience all of this Port's beauty again. On behalf of Carnival, I would like to thank the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and all of our partners on the ground in Grand Turk for working with us to make this opportunity possible,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival built and owns the Grand Turk Cruise Port.

A cruise ship docks at the pier in Turks before the pandemic.
Cruise passengers enjoying the day at the pier in the Turks andCaicos.
BY DAVID ROSE Observer business writer

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