Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, a UK-based company, announced that the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis will be a port of call in its 2021/2022 itinerary. The fleet, which averages a thousand passengers a ship, will dock at St Kitts’ Port Zante as part of its Winter Sunshine Program. Supported by the islands’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program, Port Zante was upgraded last year to increase vessel capacity and can now host up to three world-class vessels simultaneously.
Fred Olsen also held a virtual tour where over 50,000 future visitors could see the different ports scheduled, including St Kitts. The nation recently announced that it would be opening its international borders in October after registering only 17 cases and zero deaths. In preparation for the reopening, 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders will be trained.
Lindsay Grant, the Minister of Tourism, highlighted the importance of the collaboration between the islands and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines: “This is a clear indication that our island’s attractions, tours and services offer significant appeal to cruise visitors,” Minister Grant said. “Now, more than ever, as we get ready to reopen tourism, it is critical that we continue to work together to maintain our physical product standards and to ensure health and safety protocols are adhered to by all tourism stakeholders, to provide a premier guest experience.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, St Kitts and Nevis’ cruise sector saw an increase in visitors with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association naming it as a marquee destination. The dual-islands’ also reached the milestone of one million cruise passengers for the second year in a row in 2019. St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Program partly sponsored the expansion of the Port Zante. The Program supports socio-economic initiatives on the island, particularly within the tourism sector.