The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism, Invest Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority to ensure continuous enhancement of the island's cruise tourism product.
A record 760,306 cruise passengers visited Saint Lucia during 2018, owing to an expansion of Berth No. 1 at Pointe Seraphine, which allowed Port Castries to accommodate Vista-, Quantum- and Freedom-class vessels. With 2019 projecting to be an even greater year for cruise, the aim is to ensure that onshore businesses deliver to international standards.
On May 7 and 8, 240 officers, ranging from onshore businesses to the health sector, convened at the Bay Gardens Hotel for training exercises. Under the guidance of trainer and international business development manager, Claudine Pohl of Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence, the officers became certified frontline experts in customer service. The training exercises catered to 120 participants on each day and was facilitated by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Customer Service and Frontline Training Initiative.
Aquila's Center for Cruise Excellence offers training programs in the areas of Tour Operator Excellence, Tour Guide Excellence and Port Excellence—all designed to for cruise destinations around the world to achieve excellence in their ports, tours, guides and businesses. Pohl has varied roles in the Center for Cruise Excellence, which includes leading workshops with tour operators, ports and destinations; she also leads in the delivery of Aquila's International Tour Guide Excellence Certification Program, ACE Tour Operator Designation and FCCA Customer Service and Front-Line Training.
In addition to the expansion of Berth No. 1 at Pointe Seraphine, minister for tourism Hon. Dominic Fedee in March said St. Lucia is working with a yet-unnamed “major cruise line” to build a new, $150 million cruise port in Vieux Fort, near the airport. With the existing cruise port in Castries in the north, the new southern-located port will help further diversify the island’s cruise offerings.
For more information about Saint Lucia, check out our May Focus Series, which plenty on hotel updates, "village tourism," and weddings and honeymoons!