The luxurious port of St. John’s in Antigua and Barbuda celebrated the official opening of the winter cruise season with 5 cruise ships in port on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, an event that additionally served because the formal opening of the port’s fifth berth, which is able to accommodating among the world’s largest cruise ships.
5 Ships Go to Antigua in One Day
5 cruise ships from 5 totally different cruise traces had been docked in Antigua on Tuesday, December 6, not solely visiting the favored tropical vacation spot, however representing the official opening of the winter cruise season and celebrating the opening of the port’s fifth berth.
Seabourn Ovation (Seabourn Cruises), Marella Explorer 2 (Marella Cruises), Norwegian Daybreak (Norwegian Cruise Line), Superstar Millennium (Superstar Cruises), and AIDAperla (AIDA Cruises) had been all readily available for the momentous go to.
Based on the Antigua Observer, many native officers and dignitaries had been readily available to welcome the ships, sharing remarks concerning the port’s development and the return of the cruising business within the wake of the pandemic.
“Thirty-three months in the past, on March 14, 2020, we obtained the dreadful information of the closure of the cruise business after solely 4 months of operations in Antigua,” stated Dona Regis-Prosper, Basic Supervisor of Antigua Cruise Port, describing how the pandemic impacted the port.
“The weeks that adopted had been amongst probably the most difficult that I had skilled in my lengthy profession on this business – cancellation after cancellation of cruise calls, passengers caught at sea, and crew determined to get dwelling to their households,” she continued.
“And 28 months in the past, on July 15, 2021, we reopened the cruise business with a name from the Windsurf [Windstar Cruises] welcoming a modest 85 passengers. The remainder of the yr would proceed to be difficult with variants, altering protocols and naturally cancelled calls.”
At present, St. John’s just isn’t solely able to welcoming ships as soon as once more with out restriction, however is trying ahead to greater than 600,000 complete passengers through the peak winter season.
This contains port of name visits in addition to a primary for the island, a homeported ship from P&O Cruises.
New Berth Accomplished
The brand new fifth berth, which was accomplished in December 2020 through the pandemic shutdown, provides a lot better capability to the cruise port.
Previous to the completion of the berth, the port dealt with roughly 800,000 passengers annually. Now, as much as 1,000,000 visitors might be able to go to Antigua. Harbor dredging that has improved the marine channel has additionally made it attainable for bigger vessels to name on Antigua.
The brand new terminal constructing just isn’t but full, however is anticipated to be completed by November 2023 when further ships from Emerald Cruises and SeaDream Yacht Membership have deliberate to start homeporting from Antigua.
The brand new terminal will probably be greater than 10,000 sq. toes, with devoted house for port operations in addition to baggage dealing with and procuring choices.
Cruising to Antigua
The dual island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, within the Leeward Islands of the West Indies, is a well-liked port of name on Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries.
The height cruise season usually runs from October by way of April, although some vessels do name on Antigua through the summer time as nicely. For the 2022-2023 winter season, ships from quite a lot of cruise traces are scheduled to go to.
Along with Tuesday’s cruise traces, vessels from Royal Caribbean Worldwide, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Windstar Cruises, TUI Cruises, Holland America Line, Viking, Costa Cruises, and extra are all on the port’s upcoming calendar.
P&O Cruises latest ship, Arvia, is to be homeported from St. John’s starting in January 2023, with itineraries that go to St. Kitts, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Maarten, and different unique southern locations.