(SKNIS): A number of passenger cruise ships continue to visit the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis even during the off-peak season, which generally runs from May to September, as testimony to the federation’s growing tourism sector.
The two most recent ships to make calls on the island are the Adventure of the Seas, belonging to the Royal Caribbean International fleet, bringing with it a total of 3,840 persons; and the Carnival Fascination, which belongs to the Carnival Cruise Line, bringing with it a total of 2,594 persons; both of which docked at Port Zante in St. Kitts on Friday, August 18.
Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that it is safe to say that the 2016-2017 Cruise Season in St. Kitts and Nevis has not had an off season.
“We have negotiated and Carnival has come every Friday since June, will come every Friday for the month of August and will come every Friday for the month of September, still in the off season,” said Minister Grant. “You would also recognize that Royal Caribbean Lines have committed to be here on a more regular basis during the off season. You would recognize today that we have two ships, Carnival Fascination and Adventure of the Seas, on a Friday, in the off season, which is not normal, bringing to our shores almost 6,500 passengers in total.”
The tourism minister said it is the ministry’s hope for ships to continue to visit St. Kitts and Nevis during the off season.
“We would hope going forward to the 2017-2018 Cruise Season that we can maintain the level of regularity of ships during the off season since traditionally the tourism industry would normally have five to six months of little or no activity,” he said. “And so, our goal is to reduce the number of inactive months and create the level of economic activity that is acceptable to our numerous stakeholders.”
Equally important, Minister Grant highlighted the calls that were made to St. Kitts and Nevis by the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, which made its sixth and final call for the 2016-2017 Cruise Season on Wednesday, August 16.
“We were extremely delighted to have had six calls with a projected passenger count of 6,400 from the Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise vessel to ever visit St. Kitts. On this final call of the season, we were honoured to have onboard Mr. Michael Bailey, the President of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and his family,” said the tourism minister. “These calls by Harmony of the Seas are a testament to the strides we have made and continue to make in a highly competitive global industry. We must say thank you to our stakeholders who have throughout the season exhibited exemplary service.”
Adventure of the Seas was launched in 2001. It carries a capacity of 3,114 passengers and 1,180 crew, whereas Carnival Fascination, once called Fascination, was launched in 1994 and refitted in 2006. It carries a capacity of 2,634 passengers and 920 crew.