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Ffryes Beach in Antigua.

Antigua’s Cruise Industry Is Booming

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 2, 2023

The cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda is booming, with surging passenger arrival numbers and a burgeoning position as one of the Caribbean’s top home-porting destinations. 

This year has seen a 78.7 percent increase in cruise arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda, with 349 cals and nearly 400,000 passengers compared to the previous year, according to Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO Colin C. James. 

James was speaking during this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Fort Lauderdale, the industry’s top annual gathering. 

Antigua’s delegation to the show was led by Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez, along with James, ABTA Operations Manager Javier Jacobs, Donyelle Bird-Browne, Senior Business Development Manager-Partnerships, Shamoi Richards, Business Development Manager for Canada, Dona Regis-Prosper Manager GPH Antigua Cruise Port and Antigua Port Manager Darwin Telemaque.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism delegation at Seatrade.

The team hosted dozens of meetings on cruise business, including itinerary inclusion discussion and updates on Barbuda. 

“Antigua and Barbuda  is a leading cruise destination in the Caribbean and forums like Seatrade give the opportunity to build dynamic, market and data-driven business-to-business relationships,” Fernandez said. “The convention integrates meetings and events with a broad array of industry insights, digital campaign reports, data-focused information, and solutions that create uniquely rich and vibrant destination experiences that must be included in the various cruise itineraries.

Another 42 cruise calls are booked between now and August 2023, compared to only three last year. 

The new home-porting sector will include four cruise lines with home-porting operations in Antigua. 

That will include Emerald Cruises, beginning in November with a weekly call and bunkering. 

Sea Dream will follow in November 2024. 

For more, visit Antigua and Barbuda

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