“We are having bigger ships. And so, on December 11, we are going to welcome Symphony of the Seas [for its inaugural visit], which is the world’s largest cruise ship that will bring a passenger count somewhere in the region of 7,600; 10,000 tops, including the crew,” said Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant at the recent Prime Minister’s press conference.
Symphony of the Seas is part of the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship fleet. During the 2018- 2019 Cruise Season, two other Oasis Class ships, namely Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will dock in St. Kitts.
Oasis Class ships belong to the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship fleet. Importantly, the Oasis Class ships are the world’s largest cruise ships – Allure, Harmony, Oasis and the new Symphony of the Seas. The Oasis of the Seas, which was launched in 2009, was a game changer – the first of its class. Hence, this is why the world’s largest cruise ships are referred to as “Oasis Class.”
Out of the 28 cruise liners scheduled to come to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis for the 2018- 2019 Cruise Season, Royal Caribbean has the largest capacity ships, as well as the most port calls. Eight ships in its fleet are scheduled to visit a total of 85 times; second in line is Carnival Cruise Line, with 75 port calls in total by five ships, followed by Norwegian Cruise Line, which is scheduled to make 28 port calls from seven ships.
Minister Grant said that the reality is that the tourism sector in St. Kitts and Nevis is growing, adding that, “The future looks very bright for us… we are building the second cruise pier, which is really going to enhance our competitiveness and so we expect nothing less.”
The formal agreement to initiate the US $48 million dollar project for the construction of a second cruise pier at Port Zante, St. Kitts was signed in 2015. Upon completion, it will be able to berth two Oasis Class vessels.
The arrival of bigger cruise ships is translating into increased tourism revenues in the Federation. According to the 2018 BREA Report, in 2018, total passenger spend in St. Kitts was US $133.02 million compared to US $75.30 million in 2015 – a whopping 77 percent increase.