By Alexander Britell and Guy Britton
There’s a new power player in the Caribbean cruise industry: Antigua and Barbuda.
The twin-island destination continues to see strong growth in its cruise industry, buoyed by its recent partnership with global cruise giant GPH, which manages an increasing portfolio of the world’s top cruise ports.
Antigua is also working to expand its already-improved port facilities in St John’s, looking to position the country to capitalize on the industry’s increasingly larger cruise ships.
And that’s accompanied by improvement in cruise passenger arrival numbers, including an imminent increase from TUI Cruises, whose new Mein Schiff 2 ship will be bringing 13 calls and more than 37,000 passengers to the destination in the upcoming 2019/2020 cruise season.
That’s along with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss ship, which will make its inaugural call to Antigua this December with more than 4,000 passengers.
Royal Caribbean Cruises will also be bringing larger ships to Antigua this year, with an increase to approximately 250,000 passengers across its portfolio of cruise brands.
“the Caribbean continues to be the world’s number one cruising destination,” Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez said this week during the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami Beach, where he led a contingent of Antiguan officials. “The renewed focus on improving our infrastructure by the Government has now positioned the destination to increase its share of this business.”