Minister Skerritt welcomes Celebrity Eclipse, lauds line for confidence in St. Kitts and Nevis as a preferred cruise destination

(Right to left) – Captain of the Celebrity Eclipse, Panagiotis Skylogiannis; Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt; Celebrity Cruise Lines Director for Caribbean and International Government Relations, Fredrico Gonzalez and CEO of Delise Walwyn & Co Ltd, Mr. Denzil Crooke

ST KITTS, NOVEMBER 25, 2010 (CUOPM) – Stating with confidence that Celebrity/Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line has adopted St. Kitts as a preferred cruise destination in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt welcomed the fifth ship of the Celebrity line to call at Port Zante on Wednesday.

As he spoke at a Plaque and Keys Exchange Ceremony to mark the inaugural call of the MS Celebrity Eclipse, another Celebrity cruise ship, the Millennium was berth on the other side of Port Zante. This Minister Skerritt said is a significant vote of confidence in St. Kitts and Nevis as a tourism destination.

“When you add these two ships – the Celebrity Eclipse and the Millennium – with the Mercury and Summit, both of which visited here last week and the Celebrity Equinox, it is five Celebrity ships that will be calling during the 2010/2011 Cruise Ship Season,” he told invited guests including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Sam Condor; Minister of Education and Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty, Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Patricia Martin; Permanent Secretary in the Nevis Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Tyrone O’Flaherty, Chief Executive Officer of Delisle Walwyn & Company Ltd, Mr. Denzil Crooke, Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Stafford Liburd and OAS Resident Representative, Mr. Starrett Greene.

Assistant Product Standards and Cruise Manager, Ms. Goldha Franks (c) receives plaque on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism from Celebtrity Eciplse Captain, Panagiotis Skylogiannis. Left is Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt (photos by Erasmus Williams)

Minister Skerritt pointed out that his data indicates that the five Celebrity cruise liners represent just over 190,000 passengers calling at St. Kitts’ Port Zante this season with a total of 47 calls from the Celebrity brand alone, which is part of the Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity group.

He disclosed that when the calls by RCI’s Serenade of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas are added that will be eight ships of the Celebrity/Royal Caribbean International company with a total of 190,000 passengers which represent around 30 percent of the cruise ship business that comes to St. Kitts and Nevis.

“This is indeed a significant vote of confidence in our destination. It is a lot for us to be appreciative of,” said Minister Skerritt, who personally thanked Federico and the decision makers in itinerary schedule planning for brining Celebrity Eclipse to St. Kitts.

Minister Skerritt described the Celebrity Eclipse as “luxurious, not just hot off the production line, but is of the latest technology and it brings to the table, all that is new, modern and exciting and on the higher end of the cruise industry.”

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