BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) has confirmed that the two vessels which were expected to dock last month would now do so later in September.
It was announced by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lindsay Grant, in August that the Rhapsody of the Seas and the Vision of the Seas would be given safe harbour at Port Zante for a month in the first instance.
However, the arrivals of the vessels were delayed but have now been given a docking date.
According to the SKTA, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line announced their decision to shift their arrival dates of their two vessels to "safe harbour" in St. Kitts, to the end of September.
The Tourism Authority noted that the Vision of the Seas is expected to arrive on Saturday (Sept. 26), and a placement has been announced for the Rhapsody of the Seas with the Brilliance of the Seas, which is expected to arrive on or after September 27, 2020.
When they arrive, the vessels will be placed under strict adherence to all of the laws and regulations that govern the Federation under the State of Emergency.
According to tourism officials, the ships were delayed to facilitate the rotation of essential crew in St. Maarten; to ensure that scheduled crew rotations would align with the reopening of St. Kitts borders to accommodate crew rotations when necessary; and load the required provisions, equipment and cables in St. Maarten, to support the layup of the two vessels on Port Zante.
Moreover, upon arrival at Port Zante, the crew of both Vision of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas will not be allowed to disembark the vessels and will be required to undertake:
1. Molecular PCR test;
2. 14-day quarantine onboard the vessel;
3. Molecular PCR test at the end of the 14-day quarantine period; and
4. In the event a crew member tests positive for COVID-19 on entry into St. Kitts, the vessel will have to leave Port Zante for International waters.
The local agent will not have any interaction with the crew members until after they would have passed the quarantine stage.