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Caribbean Islands News and Travel Guide

Antigua And Barbuda’s Cruise Sector On Growth Path

Antigua And Barbuda’s Cruise Sector On Growth Path

That was revealed at the recently concluded Seatrade Global Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where one of the hottest topics was the unprecedented level of investment taking place globally over the next ten years and the need for local ports to modernize their facilities and improve the onshore experiences for cruise passengers.

Antigua and Barbuda can expect to see steady growth in its cruise ship visitor arrivals over the next two seasons.

Almost every cruise line that was engaged confirmed that Antigua and Barbuda would receive calls for the two next seasons at an average increase of approximately 10 percent – above the industry average predicted for the Caribbean region.

In a series of one-on-one meetings at the world’s largest cruise industry convention, the Antigua and Barbuda delegation engaged their cruise industry counterparts in negotiations and discussions that confirmed that major public sector investments in St. John’s port, and overall tourism developments, are attracting significant attention within the cruise industry with positive results for the twin-island nation.

Total cruise ship calls from RCCL Lines will grow from 80 calls with 211,442 passengers in season 2016/17 to 91 ship calls already booked for 2017/18 cruise season with 233,878 passengers. This is a 10.6 percent increase or 22,436 more passengers that will visit the destination from RCCL alone.

Almost every cruise line that was engaged confirmed that Antigua and Barbuda would receive calls for the two next seasons at an average increase of approximately 10 percent – above the industry average predicted for the Caribbean region.

Antigua & Barbuda came in for special praise from one of its larger cruise line partners, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Ltd. (RCCL). Associate Vice President-Government Relations for Latin America & The Caribbean, Federico Gonzalez-Denton commented that “Antigua and Barbuda was riding the wave of growth since the major improvements to the piers had been completed”.

During the state of the Industry analysis Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, indicated the industry is set for record capacity growth. He noted that in the Caribbean demand is again heating up as some capacity is being pulled out of Europe due to various issues.

Also showering high praise on Antigua was Viking Cruise Lines, the luxury European liner which only recently commenced calls to Antigua and Barbuda, who reported that its passengers had voted St. John’s as the best port in their new Caribbean itinerary.

MSC Cruise lines also confirmed an increase in its calls to Antigua with the total number of calls now booked from January 2017 to Dec 2019 showing significant growth.

“Our assets move, and we will follow the trends of where our customers want to go,” said Vago. “With some 74 new ships on order from all cruise lines over the next ten years, Caribbean destinations must prepare for more and bigger ships, and cruise lines must keep an eye on the supply/demand scenario.”

Caribbean News 2017: WhyCarib.Com

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