St.Kitts-Nevis Cruise Tourism is back and although they are still way short of Pre-COVID numbers the destination is certainly off to a phenomenal start. Exceptional leadership by the Team Unity government has resulted in maybe the most vibrant Restart of a cruise industry among destinations in the Caribbean. Leading the country’s overal recovery continues to be Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris. His superb leadership continues to move the twin island federation positively and progressively forward . Equally superb leadership by Hon. Lindsay Grant in Tourism has ensured that the cruise industry has, in short order, regained its vibrancy. Minister Grant has very ably led the charge of Tourism in St.Kitts-Nevis to unprecedented successes over the last 6 years.
In the last 18 months since COVID Minister Grant along with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Authority undertook a very particular well thought out programme with a view to getting back to this point as safely, efficiently and effectively as possible.
Below is an outline of what was termed as the Travel Approved Programme which has led to the vibrant reopening of the cruise industry in particular in St.Kitts-Nevis .
• Programme began July 2020.
• Facilitated by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Health
• To date we have trained 3,927 individuals
Meetings & Sessions – Preparation to Restart Tourism in General and the Cruise Sector
Vaccine Awareness Sessions – March – April
• Various stakeholders – Hoteliers, Partnering Agencies- UDC & SCASPA, Hoteliers & Restaurants and Bars, Vendors.
• 23rd March – Cruise Stakeholder Meeting
• 24th March – General Stakeholder Meeting
• 23rd April – Meetings with Cruise Lines
• 29th April – Meeting with Taxi Presidents
• 27th April – Cruise Protocols Meeting
• 28th May – Ministers of Tourism Cruise Meeting
• 12th May – Taxi Fraternity Meeting
• 3rd June – Cruise Line Meetings
• 4th June – Cruise Line Meetings
• 7th June – Cruise Restart Meeting – Local Agencies- SCASPA, SKTA
• 9th June – Port Zante Walkthrough
• 10th June – Stakeholder Meeting
• 22nd June – COVID-19 task force meeting
• July 3rd- Meeting with COVID-19 Task force to revise cruise protocols
• July 13th – Meeting to discuss cruise protocols
• July 19th – Travel Approved Taxi Operators
• July 20th – Cruise Stakeholder Meeting
• 4th August – Meeting with Taxi Presidents
• 9th August- Meeting with Taxi Operators and Luggage Handlers
• 26th August – Meetings with Travel Approved Operators, Tour Operators and Port Zante
• 6th September- Tour Operators, Taxi Operators Meetings
Press Conferences to further sensitize the Federation
• 6th September
• 14th October
• 27th October
• 19th November
Inaugurals: 2021-2022 season
Viking Orion – Viking Cruise Line- 25th October 2021
Celebrity Apex – Celebrity Cruises – 10th November 2021
Aida Perla – AIDA – 16th November 2021
Enchanted Princess- Princess Cruises – 23rd November 2021
Seabourn Ovation – 25th November 2021
MSC Seaview – 11th December 2021
Sky Princess – 22nd December 2021
Nieuw Statendam – 19th January 2021
• 5 calls inaugural calls have gone to date and 3 more are remaining.
Key Cruise Days
22nd July – Return of first cruise to St. Kitts since March 2020- Seabourn Odyssey
25th October- First Inaugural Call – Viking Orion
10th November – First 3 ship days
24th November- Largest number of passengers to arrive on one vessel – Harmony of the Seas- 6,159.
7th December – 4 ships in St. Kitts – first day
16th December – first 5 ship day.
Cruise Arrivals Dates # of Calls Total Passengers
July 2 236
August 4 299
September 6 1,763
October 8 2,373
November 32 41,662
Total 52 46,333
As at 30th November 2021.
These are the numbers and it shows a very specific path to where the country is now. The country’s overall Leadership as well as that of Hon. Lindsay Grant in Tourism must be highly commended for their return to a vibrant cruise sector.