Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 31, 2017 (SKNIS): Cruise tourism has been doing exceptionally well, says Minister of Tourism Honourable Lindsay Grant, noting that the period known at the dull season has certainly not been dull.
It was just on May 3rd, of this year, when Royal Caribbean’s “Harmony of the Seas”, the largest ship in the world, made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts. This cruise line chose to visit the destination during the slow period and will make a total of five calls to the destination from May-August.
This is a testament to show that the tourism product, which includes great customer service, unique and enticing tours and excursions, even during the off-peak season, St. Kitts can attract cruise ships with passenger capacities over 6,000, said the minister.
Minister Grant said that Wednesday, 26th July, marked an unprecedented day within the cruise industry.
“We had Harmony of the Seas and Carnival Splendor here. Never before in the dull season have 9,000 visitors visited our shores. That is significant,” he said.
Next week there will be four to five days of ships in, in the dull season, said the tourism minister.
“This shows that we are at the point where we want to be,” he said. “For us, it is not a matter of bringing a million passengers a year. Yes, we want the million passengers, but we want when the million passengers come we give to them excellent service so that they speak about the service and the warmth and the friendliness of our people.”
Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival are viewing St. Kitts as a great tourism product and that is why they are confident in bringing their best and some of their biggest cruise ships to the island during the summer period. In other words, Summer Cruising is doing big business in St. Kitts, said the minister.
Cruise ships such as Harmony of the Seas, Carnival Fascination, Allure of the Seas, Carnival Magic, Adventure of the Seas and Carnival Splendor will be coming if not every week then bi-weekly. This has been constant throughout the summer months, said Minister Grant.
The minister revealed that the upcoming 2017- 2018 cruise period would be what he calls a bumper season and calls for all stakeholders to be ready.
“There is no day in December without a ship. In fact, some days in December 4 to 7 ships will be in,” revealed the minister. “Never before has this been seen in the cruise industry in St. Kitts. So, all I’m saying to the various stakeholders is gear up. It’s going to be a bumper season. We don’t have time to get into any difficulties. It’s a time in St. Kitts when people have to make money. We want them to make money and at the same time deliver the best customer service they can deliver.”