Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS): Port Zante will soon see the construction of a second pier that will suit the needs of the ever growing Cruise Sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The Cruise Sector of the Tourism Industry has been going through tremendous growth over the last six years,” says Minister of Tourism Hon. Richard Skerritt, boasting that the sector saw an increase from less than 200,000 to in excess of 700,000 cruise passengers within those years.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas in the 2014 budget stated that “St. Kitts and Nevis has become a premier island destination evidenced by our most recent accolade given by USA News and World Report which ranks us fourth among the sixteen Best Islands in the World after Santorini, Bora Bora and the Maldives.” Minister Skerritt explained that this popularity warrants the construction of the second pier.
“Demand for our destination is growing within the cruise industry and if demand is growing then you have to prepare for the present and future growth of that demand. …the demand is now going beyond one cruise pier because we are having, in excess of thirty days in one season where we have three or four ships and in two cases five ships seeking to come into our port.”
The Tourism Minister revealed that the project envisages a significant redo of the Amina Craft Market and the improvement of the upland experience for the Port Zante Area. It also envisages some redesigning and improvements at the Ferry Terminal. Discussions were also held on environmental projects including a Marine Habitat Project.
The construction of the second pier at Port Zante and the development of the upland works was established under a public and private sector joint venture arrangement with Cruise Port Development Ltd. -a U.S based company from Massachusetts, owned by J. Cashman and Associates-,St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA) and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The pier will be designed and build to accommodate two of the world’s largest class cruise ships at the same time.
The estimated construction cost of the pier and upland works is US $31 million. Cruise Port Development Ltd. is solely responsible for raising all of the financing required for the construction of the pier and upland works.
SCASPA will grant a 30 year lease to Cruise Port Development Ltd. to construct the new pier. Under the project development agreement the existing pier at Port Zante will remain under the full ownership and operation of SCASPA. On completion of the new pier, Cruise Port Development Ltd. will grant to SCASPA an operating lease for 30 years to operate the new pier. When the 30 year period has expired Cruise Port Development Ltd. will transfer full ownership of the second pier to SCASPA at no cost.