By Dana Niland
St. Kitts and Nevis is seeing continued growth in its increasingly important cruise sector.
The destination reports it is attracting more than one million passengers per season.
“We are having bigger ships,” said Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, speaking at the recent Prime Minister’s press conference. “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,”
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, — Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas — will dock in St. Kitts.
Oasis ships belong to the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship fleet, and are among the world’s largest cruise ships.
Eight ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet are scheduled to visit St. Kitts and Nevis a total of 85 times this cruise season– the most of any cruise line.
“The future looks very bright for us,” said Grant. “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 $48 million project for the construction of a second cruise pier at Port Zante, St. Kitts, was signed in 2015.
The arrival of larger cruise ships is translating into increased tourism revenues in the federation.
According to the 2018 BREA Report, total passenger spending in 2018 increased 77 percent when compared to 2015.