Labadee

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Labadie
Labadee
Village
Labadee, Haiti II.jpg
Labadie is located in Haiti
Labadie
Labadie
The nation of Haiti, showing Labadie
Coordinates: 19°47′11″N 72°14′44″W / 19.78639°N 72.24556°W / 19.78639; -72.24556Coordinates: 19°47′11″N 72°14′44″W / 19.78639°N 72.24556°W / 19.78639; -72.24556
Country Haiti
DepartmentNord
ArrondissementCap-Haïtien
Beach in Labadee, Haiti

Labadee (French: Labadie) is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti within the arrondissement of Cap-Haïtien in the Nord department. It is a private resort leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., for the exclusive use of passengers of its three cruise lines: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises, until 2050.[1] Royal Caribbean has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals, allowing another 200 to sell their wares on the premises for a fee[2] and paying the Haitian government US$12 per tourist.[3] The resort is completely tourist-oriented, and is guarded by a private security force. The site is fenced off from the surrounding area, and passengers are not allowed to leave the property. Food available to tourists is brought from the cruise ships. A controlled group of Haitian merchants are given sole rights to sell their merchandise and establish their businesses in the resort. Although sometimes described as an island in advertisements, it is actually a peninsula contiguous with the island of Hispaniola. The cruise ship moors to the pier at Labadee capable of servicing the Oasis class ships, which was completed in late 2009.[4] The commercial airport that is closest to Labadee is Cap-Haïtien International Airport.

Attractions include a Haitian flea market, beaches, watersports, a water-oriented playground, an alpine coaster, and the largest zip-line over water.[5]

Etymology[edit]

The location is named after the Marquis de La Badie, a Frenchman who first settled the area in the 17th century. The peninsula and a village were named Labadie.[6] The cruise company spells the name "Labadee" to make it easier for American English-speakers to pronounce.[6]

History[edit]

The Freedom of the Seas moored in Labadee

In the 1990s it was variously reported that many cruise ship guests who disembarked at the location were apparently unaware that they were in Haiti[7] - at least in part due to the fact that the cruise company seemed to have a policy of referring only to Hispaniola, not that they were in Haiti.[8][9]

In November 2001, a crew member from the cruise line Royal Caribbean was attacked on Labadee in an apparent robbery. The assailants were arrested by Haitian police.[10]

Beach in Labadee (Jan 2019)
Beach in Labadee (Jan 2019)

In February 2004, during the 2004 Haitian coup d'état, Royal Caribbean temporarily suspended use of the stop due to the political unrest in the country.[11]

In 2009, Royal Caribbean made US$55 million improvements to the facilities, including upgrading port facilities to allow docking of their largest cruise ships.[12]

In January 2010, just after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Royal Caribbean announced its intention to continue cruise stopovers at the port and use cruise ships to ferry relief supplies and personnel. In addition, it would donate US$1 million to fund relief efforts in Haiti.[13]

In January 2016, Haitians in boats protesting against the Haitian government blocked the port. Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas cancelled their port stop on January 19 as a result.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Haiti:The island and the outside world". The Economist. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Could this paradise really be poor, desperate Haiti?". Christian Science Monitor. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  3. ^ "Haiti's local community to benefit from additional fee from cruise passengers". Haitian Caribbean News Network. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  4. ^ "Labadee". www.expedia.com. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  5. ^ "Labadee". The Washington Post. 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  6. ^ a b Cruise Travel, Google Books.
  7. ^ "Could this paradise really be poor, desperate Haiti?". Christian Science Monitor. 25 January 2006.
  8. ^ AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, Updated with a New ... - Paul Farmer - Google Books.
  9. ^ Polly Pattullo, Last Resorts: The Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean. Google Books.]
  10. ^ RCI Crew Member Attacked in Labadee
  11. ^ "CRUISES / Sittin' on the dock of the Gulf". The San Francisco Chronicle. 2004-02-27.
  12. ^ Robert Booth (2010-01-17). "Cruise ships still find a Haitian berth". The Guardian. London.
  13. ^ Robert Booth, “Cruise ships still find a Haitian berth” (20.1.2010) The Guardian
  14. ^ Golden, Fran (January 20, 2016). "Cruise ship turns away from Haiti amid protests". USA Today. Retrieved March 6, 2017.

External links[edit]