Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 7, 2018 – The number of cruise visitors and cruise ship calls to St. Kitts and Nevis increased in 2017 for the third consecutive year.
That’s according to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) which reported increases in cruise visitor arrivals from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean for the period under review.
The ECCB said in 2017, cruise ship passenger arrivals rose by 9.2 percent to 1,017,862 compared with a 2.4 percent increase in 2016. The outturn was consistent with a 6.9 per cent (29) increase in the number of cruise ship calls to 451 at the cruise ports in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The number of visitors by yacht also rose by 44.9 percent to 4,177 . The first three months of 2018 at Christophe Harbour have sailed by with record-setting numbers
In mid-January, Christophe Harbour welcomed 16 superyachts and 205 crew members to its superyacht marina for the third-annual Caribbean CrewFest 2018. The event, in partnership with ACREW, is designed specifically for superyacht crew and has more than doubled in size since its launch in 2016.
The nation’s yachting industry have seen exponential growth in all dimensions. This season alone has generated over 5,000 overnight stays and seen the average size of visiting yachts grow 40% to 165’ (50m) and the average length of stay increase 20% to five days. Although overall traffic to the region may have been down due to the lingering effects from the storms, repeat visits to Christophe Harbour are on the rise with some vessels returning up to seven times. This year also saw an increased number of high profile superyachts as well as the marina’s largest vessel to-date, M/Y Limitless, at 317 feet (91m).
Tourism Minister Hon. Lindsay Grant commented om“Our growth in cruise tourism over the last 5 years has been due to our ability to offer unique experiences, while at the same time providing the best possible service,” Minister Grant said.
He added that beyond shopping and the beach, visitors can enjoy wonderful experiences on the ziplines at Sky Safaris, on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, at Caribelle Batik and Brimstone Hill National Park and Fortress.
Minister Grant thanked security personnel, tourism officials and tourism stakeholders, for the wonderful job they have done to ensure that visitors were able to experience an authentic Kittitian experience.
The construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante has begun. The pier is expected to be completed within 18 months in time for the 2019 cruise season.