The official start of the 2022-23 cruise season is just weeks away and Antigua Cruise Ports Ltd. is wasting no time in preparing as it now moves to conduct intense training of port workers and other staff who come into contact with visitors.
Antigua Cruise Port’s (ACP) General Manager, Dona Regis-Prosper, said training is part of her organisation’s philosophy of providing guests to Antigua and Barbuda with the best possible experience.
“We are offering port security training for all port users including taxi operators, vendors, tour operators, security officers, restaurateurs, and retailers.
“We continue to invest in the success of the port community and industry stakeholders. We believe in authentic, open dialogue, and see it as our duty to assist everyone; from our colleagues to our tenants, to port community members to achieve success.
“Against this backdrop we continue to offer complementary training to the port community, and thus, we have identified port security as one of the priority areas,” continued Regis-Prosper.
According to the general manager, the upcoming 2022/2023 season appears promising with 182,120 passengers projected between October and December 2022.
Antigua Cruise Port is expected to welcome 354 calls and a total of 616,419 passengers by the end of the peak cruise season. The remainder of the season is also projected to produce stellar numbers as January 2023 will be the busiest month with 79 scheduled calls and 135,810 passengers.
Regis-Prosper highlighted some of the expectations for the upcoming season.
“In comparison to the modest summer months of 2022, May – September 2023 will see a total of 18 cruise ship calls depicting the growth and development of Antigua’s cruise industry.
“In addition, the port will engage in homeporting operations beginning with Star Clipper of Royal Clipper Cruises in December 2022 and continuing with the Arvia, Carnival’s largest cruise vessel in January 2023 until March 2023,” she disclosed.
An estimated 800 passengers are expected to be accommodated on each Arvia voyage, providing consistent business for a wide range of tourism stakeholders.
Commenting on the benefits that the country will derive from homeporting, Regis-Prosper said ACP has placed great emphasis on this area of the cruise industry because of the positive ripple effects it has on the entire economy.
“Homeporting operations for the Arvia are expected to resume in November 2023, along with the start of full weekly operations from Emerald Cruises. Multiple cruise calls days will also be significant as Antigua Cruise Port will encounter several days with more than one ship in port at once.
“December 2022 will embrace 5-ship days, with January 2023 also pinpointing 5-ship days and one 6-ship day.
“February 2023 will earmark one day with 7 ships in port simultaneously, a cause for celebration,” she said.