Four cruise ships are expected in the St. John’s Harbour today boosting industry officials’ prediction that January 2023 will become the country’s best month on record for cruise tourism.
The Antigua Cruise Ports (ACP) has reported that seventy-seven cruise ship calls are booked this month with fifteen calls scheduled this week alone.
According to ACP, this month is expected to surpass all previous records for cruise ship calls at the St. John’s Harbour and cruise tourist arrivals to the country.
Arriving today are the Seabourn Ovation, AIDA Perla, Marella Explorer and Viking Sea. Together, they will bring over six-thousand five hundred fun-seekers to the country.
January also marks another significant milestone for the country as it will become the homeport of the Carnival Arvia. On 28th January, the Arvia, which has a normal operating capacity of 5,200 guests and 1,800 crew, will use the St. John’s harbour as the origin of its cruises.
Homeporting will open many economic benefits for the country as passengers arriving in Antigua and Barbuda will be required to conduct business with merchants, taxi operators, restaurants, and other establishments ahead of the departure of their cruises.
According to the General Manager of Antigua Cruise Port, Dona Regis-Prosper, Antiguan and Barbudan travellers booking cruises will now also have the option of beginning their journey at home in St. John’s.
The Arvia will dock at the recently commissioned fifth berth at the St. John’s Harbour.
Regis-Prosper disclosed that the Carnival Arvia will homeport in Antigua and Barbuda until 2025.
At the end of this year’s winter tourist season, the arrangement will recommence in November 2023 and continue each year until the expiration of the agreement in 2025.
She added that Antigua Cruise Port will continue to oversee the continued expansion and growth of the country’s cruise tourism sector.