Basseterre, St. Kitts (18 November 2022) – St. Kitts continues to strengthen its partnerships with cruise line companies to diversify and improve the destination’s overall cruise experience. On Monday 14th November, Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Marsha Henderson, other Cabinet Ministers and executives from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, St Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority and port agents from Delisle Walwyn & Co Ltd., convened a meeting with representatives from Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.
Representing Carnival Corp and P&O Cruises were Paul Ludlow, President of P&O Cruises; Marie McKenzie, Vice President, Government & Destination Affairs; Giora Israel, Senior Advisor to Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations, and Charlene Drakes, Manager, Stakeholder Engagements; Caribbean Region of Carnival Corporation & PLC.
Honourable Dr. Terrance M. Drew was extremely pleased to host Carnival Corp & P&O's executives as the destination places great value on building partnerships with cruise lines noting that the cruise sector contributes remarkably to the island's tourism product. Prime Minister Drew also shared his gratitude to the cruise companies for their unwavering support in a post-COVID era, as the destination foresees an increase in P&O cruise vessels coming to the island.
P&O Cruises has bolstered its partnership with the destination with twenty-one (21) cruise calls with a projected 100,168 passengers projected for the 2022-2023 cruise season. President Ludlow confirmed P&O’s commitment to expanding partnerships with St. Kitts while sharing valuable insight on the UK visitor's demand and desires which include a need for more engaging experiences. The destination is poised to meet these demands through its authentic representation as a premier Caribbean destination by spotlighting its unique history, magnetic culture, and extraordinary culinary scene as highlighted by St. Kitts' recently launched brand campaign "Venture Deeper.”
“The future of cruise in St. Kitts is extremely promising as we disaffiliate from the challenging years we have endured during the pandemic. Meeting with representatives from Carnival Corp and P&O Cruises as we delve into the peak of the 2022-2023 cruise season provides ample opportunity to refine our existing tourism offerings. The cruise sector is a key component of our tourism industry, providing great job opportunities for our people. We take great pride in strengthening our partnerships with the cruise lines to ensure that our industry can continue to thrive and develop," remarked the Honourable Marsha T. Henderson, Minister of Tourism.
The 2022-2023 cruise season which began on October 1st 2022 is off to a remarkable start with 47,805 passenger arrivals thus far for the 2022-2023 cruise season. The data proves that St. Kitts continues to hold the confidence of cruise lines and guests for its unique representation of a Caribbean cruise destination.
During the meeting, President Ludlow expressed his excitement for the inaugural visit of ‘Arvia’, P&O’s largest vessel on January 30th, 2023. The vessel is said to rival other vessels in its class with a capacity of 6,264 passengers. In addition, the meeting also focused on future opportunities for St. Kitts, such as shore power, the requirements for provisioning and the challenges associated with homeporting.
"The 2022-2023 cruise season continues to flourish. With the growth in cruise calls, passenger capacity, and expanded cruise-line partnerships, St. Kitts is back in the race. It is our prime duty as the Authority to continue to negotiate and market the destination robustly to strengthen the confidence of cruise line companies in the destination," shared Mr. Ellison "Tommy" Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
The Authority looks forward to continued dialogue with its cruise line partners to expand the roster of cruise ships coming to the destination. Stakeholders are encouraged to align their tourism offerings with the destination’s new brand campaign, “Venture Deeper.” Visitors are looking for immersive and authentic experiences. St. Kitts can deliver on these expectations, and its success heavily depends on a collective effort from all stakeholders.
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