By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled calls of two of its ships to St Kitts’ Port Zante this week, bringing to three the number of cruise ship calls cancelled in one week.
According to the St Kitts Tourism Authority, the visit by the 5,400-passenger Norwegian Bliss on Thursday, December 19, was cancelled. The authority also announced that Norwegian Epic with 5,183-passenger on Saturday, December 21, is also cancelled.
On Sunday, December 15, Princess Cruises cancelled the only scheduled visit of the 4,580-passenger Regal Princess on the 2019/2020 itinerary. No reasons have been given for the cancellation.
The Norwegian Bliss, which made its inaugural call to St Kitts on December 6, has two other scheduled calls and the Norwegian Epic, 12 more calls.
Late November, the five remaining calls of the 6,400-passenger Allure of the Seas were cancelled.
The seven cancellations comes following a projected decrease in the number of cruise ships and cruise passengers for the 2019/2020 cruise season compared to the 2018/2019 season.
The itinerary for 2019/2020 is projecting 420 cruise ship calls with an estimated 1,086,844 passengers compared to 447 cruise ship calls with an estimated 1,212,462 passengers for 2018/2019, a decrease of ten percent and six percent respectively.
Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Plantours and TUI which had Port Zante on the 2018/2019 schedule, have dropped St Kitts completely from the 2019/2020 itinerary.
Meantime, the government of St Kitts and Nevis celebrated the “first time four large cruise liners dock simultaneously at St Kitts Port, upgraded with citizenship by investment funds.” – News provided by – CS Global Partners
“Though only partially handed over, having a second pier meant that the small island could already accommodate Seabourn Odyssey and Celebrity Summit beside Anthem of the Seas and Britannia. More visitors means that more money is being spent in nearby restaurants and attractions, while tour operators could increase the scale and scope of their services. This means more jobs, better wages, higher profit margins, and more development opportunities, individually and nationally. In essence, the second cruise pier represents a new economic milestone for the dreamy Caribbean islands.”
“This is a tremendous achievement for us,” commented Racquel Brown, chief executive officer (CEO) of the St Kitts Tourism Authority. Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said that the second pier is “a great facility, it costs a lot of money and we expect to see millions coming to our shores on an annual basis.”
“The twin islands that form one country – St Kitts and Nevis – are aiming high in the 2020 cruise season and beyond. As the only open cruise port in the Caribbean, it expects to continue achieving and exceeding the 1-million cruise passengers mark per cruise season. Last week, Caribbean Journal called it the Cruise Destination of the Year in the Caribbean Travel Awards 2020.” – News provided by CS Global Partners.