Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 9, 2017) – While the passing of Hurricane Irma and Maria respectively did not have serious negative impact on St. Kitts, the devastation to major ports of call in the Northern Leeward Islands has impacted itineraries for cruise calls to St. Kitts since September 7.
Cruise lines are in the process of adjusting their itineraries and diversifying their ports of call following extensive damage received in San Juan, which is the homeport to vessels including the Carnival Fascination and Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas, where repairs are ongoing. Further, cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean have modified sailings to aid in delivering humanitarian relief to islands in need. Both outcomes have resulted in the revision of many cruise lines’ Caribbean itineraries’ cancellations and additions to St. Kitts.
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Minister of Tourism the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant led a delegation of Ministers of Tourism including The Hon. Asot A. Michael of Antigua-Barbuda and St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Dominic Fedee, other cruise tourism officials from St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Antigua, and the Chairman of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Mr. Nicholas Menon to meet with Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line in a collaborative effort to reassure the cruise lines about post-hurricane port and destination capabilities and receive updates on short- and medium-term alterations to cruise line itineraries.
Royal Caribbean has scheduled an additional 35 vessels between October 8th and December 31st 2017, and an additional 40 vessels between January 1 and April 30th 2018. Other cruise lines such as Princess, Holland America, Aida, Costa, MSC, Viking, Thompson Cruises, P&O and Celebrity have not cancelled calls and have scheduled their vessels to include St. Kitts as a port of call on existing or revised itineraries over the coming months. It is important to note that Royal Caribbean has not scheduled any Oasis class vessels until mid to late November on itineraries including St. Kitts.
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority Cruise Ship Schedule will be updated accordingly to reflect the changes upon receipt of notifications from cruise lines. There will be additional calls from various cruise line vessels. Therefore, a net increase in the number of projected ship calls to island is expected for the 2017-2018 season. An estimated 115 vessels up from 96 are scheduled to visit St. Kitts from October 7 to December 31st, a net increase of 19.
Stakeholders are advised changes may occur and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority will provide updates as soon as information becomes available.
For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.