By Dana Niland
In a very important step for the island’s post-Irma recovery, Barbuda has welcomed back luxury cruise line Windstar.
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials celebrated the recent anchoring of Windstar’s Wind Surf, which comes less than one month after the reopening of Barbuda Belle boutique hotel.
“This is an extremely important milestone for Barbuda tourism as the island returns to normalcy,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism & Investment, Charles Fernandez.
“Windstar’s return is the result of a lot of lobbying by the Ministry of Tourism, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and our cruise partners who have been attending major cruise conferences since 2017, encouraging the smaller cruise lines to return to Barbuda,” he said. “This is a vote of confidence in Barbuda, and the services and tours that will be available for guests of the ship to enjoy.”
The largest ship in the Windstar fleet, the Wild Surf is a five-masted motor-sail yacht that accommodates 310 guests.
The Barbuda Council’s Chair of Tourism, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs for the Barbuda Council, Asha Frank, was present at the Barbuda dock on Sunday November 25 to greet cruise executives from the vessel.
“Small cruise lines such as the Windstar that offer a more personal and authentic experience are ideal for the picturesque shores of Barbuda,” Frank said. “We welcome the Windstar and thank them for the huge support of our local businesses.”
“As a result of the work done reassuring cruise lines that Barbuda is open for business, Barbuda will also see additional calls from other scheduled cruise ships as the season goes into high gear,” said Colin C. James, CEO of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “This will act as a significant economic stimulus for Barbuda as passengers not only enjoy Barbuda’s beautiful beaches but explore the destination on tours to Barbuda’s fascinating sites such as the caves, the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western hemisphere and the historic and unique Martello Towers.”