Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 19, 2018 (SKNIS): Construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante in St. Kitts is moving apace and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019, said the Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, while responding to a question at the prime minister’s recent monthly press conference.
“The construction works are on schedule and we anticipate that it would be completed in September 2019 barring any bad weather,” said Minister Liburd. “Just last week, we carried out an updated simulation of ships – the simulation to satisfy us in terms of the berthing of three Oasis class ships” – the world’s largest and longest passenger ships.
On Saturday, December 11, 2018, one such Oasis class ship – MS Symphony of the Seas owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, will make its inaugural visit to Port Zante, St. Kitts. Symphony of the Seas will leave Miami for St. Kitts – its first port of call – on an itinerary that includes St. Thomas, USVI; Nassau, Bahamas, and then back to Miami. The ship is able to accommodate 5,518 passengers at double occupancy up to a maximum capacity of 6,680 passengers, as well as a 2,200-person crew.
Minister Liburd further added that “We have expended thus far some US $17 million dollars on the project.”
The construction of the second pier is being financed under a syndicate arrangement between four local entities to the tune of US$48 million. The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (SKNANB) has committed US$34 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board has pledged US$7 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) injecting US$5 million and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company (TDC) adding another US$2 million.
In 2015, Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) partnered with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to build the second cruise pier aimed at meeting the demands of the thriving cruise tourism sector.
In July 2018, St. Kitts was recognized by The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) as a marquee tourist destination with the arrival of the one millionth cruise passenger during the 2017-2018 Cruise Season. This marked the first time that the one millionth cruise passenger milestone was achieved in a single season.