BASSETERRE (27th October, 2016): Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant led a delegation of tourism stakeholders on board the Viking Star, to commemorate its inaugural arrival today to St. Kitts, on its maiden Caribbean tour.
Famous for its river cruises in Europe, the Viking brand introduced the Viking Star, the first of four additional ocean sister ships set to come on stream in the next few years, including Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Spirit and an as-yet-unnamed ship.
Viking Ocean Cruises is an expansion for Viking River Cruises, which is one of the premier river cruise companies in the world.
The luxurious Viking Star visited St. Kitts with a maximum capacity of 930 affluent passengers, and is scheduled to visit 12 more times in this cruise season. The next visit is scheduled for Friday 4th November, 2016, from 8am to 11pm.
A brief ceremony was held onboard the Viking Star, where Minster Grant presented Captain Rune Lokling with a plaque to honour the inaugural call to St. Kitts.
“This is indeed a luxurious ship, and the fact that Viking Ocean Cruises has chosen St. Kitts in your inaugural visit to the Caribbean, is testament that our cruise sector can deliver the services and products needed to sustain the Viking Star,” Minister Grant said.
The Viking Star is fitted with cabins that all have balconies. The high-end ship features an infinity pool, a wrap-around promenade deck, and giant windows and skylights that let light stream into the airy interior.
Minister Grant pointed out that most cruise ships that visit the island leave by 7pm, however Viking Star will stay in St. Kitts until 11pm. That means passengers are able to explore the island by day on several island, rainforest and beach tours. In the evening passengers can experience evening catamaran cruises, party bus tours and various types of performances.
“This is indeed very significant because it means more business for our people. Passengers are also going to want to venture out and make the most of the night as they seek out unique and local culinary experiences,” Minister Grant said.
Also present at the plaque-exchange ceremony were officials from the Ministry of Tourism, St. Kitts Tourism Authority, St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority, Customs Department, the Police High Command, the media and the ship’s agents Delisle Walwyn & Company Limited.
Earlier in the year the Minister Grant had met with the executives of Viking Ocean Cruises at their headquarters in Basil, Switzerland. At that meeting Viking Ocean Cruises committed to making 13 calls to St. Kitts for the 2016-’17 season.
In the last cruise season (2015-’16) cruise ships made 373 calls to St. Kitts, bringing 913,716 passengers, which was the most ever in a cruise season. The 2016-’17 cruise season is expected to be another record breaking season with a projected 1,125,927 passengers, from 391 cruise ship calls.
“As we continue to grow in Cruise Tourism, it is important we seek out cruise lines that will stay longer at port, and thus provide more economic opportunities for our people in the Federation," Minister Grant said.
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