St. Kitts continues to grow its cruise tourism sector at an impressive rate, with recent sales calls to key industry executives leading to a projected increase in cruise arrivals to roughly 650,000 for the 2013/2014 season and to more than 700,000 in 2014/2015.
“As a direct result of our persistent sales calls, as well as our focus on improving our destination product and service offerings, we are pleased to announce that the significant growth we have seen in the cruise sector over the past six years will continue,” said Sen. Ricky Skerritt, minister of tourism and international transport, in a written release. “Cruise Executives have indicated to me that St. Kitts has become an increasingly important port of call, one that helps them market their itineraries.”
For the first time, St. Kitts and Nevis will be receiving scheduled calls from four ships of the luxury Seabourn Cruise Line, which will make a total of 29 calls in 2013/2014 bringing over 6,000 passengers.
Pullmantur Cruises will make 22 weekly calls in the 2013/2014 season from the ship Horizon, which will provide roughly 30,800 incremental passengers. It is the first Spanish cruise line to call at St. Kitts.
Costa Cruise Line will make six calls in 2013/2014 with the Costa Mediterranean, which will bring an additional 14,400 passengers.
Two German-based lines will call on St. Kitts in the next two seasons with Aida Cruises making a total of 11 calls from two vessels in 2013/2014, which will total 27,100 passengers, and TUI Cruises bringing back the Mein Schiff for regular season calls in 2014/2015 following a successful test season in 2011/2012.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Lines has booked calls in 2014/2015 with the Norwegian Pearl, which will make 14 calls bringing nearly 33,500 passengers, and with the Norwegian Breakaway, which will make three calls bringing an estimated 12,000 new passengers.
Disney Cruise Line will be making four offseason calls in the summer of 2014, yielding a projected total of 9,600 passengers.
In February 2013, Carnival Cruise Line replaced the weekly year-round calls of the Carnival Victory with the larger capacity Carnival Valor, which has increased the berths per call by 216. The Valor also carries 407 more crew members than the Victory. Royal Caribbean International is also expected to increase its number of calls in 2014/2015.
St. Kitts passed the half million passenger arrivals mark for the first time in the 2009/2010 cruise season.