Antigua, GPH Eye New Cruise Pier Plan

Antigua

A new cruise pier is under construction in Antigua, part of a 30-year, $50 million agreement with Global Ports Holding (GPH) to significantly expand the port and further develop nearby tourism areas.

The new pier, financed and managed by GPH, will be able to accommodate Oasis-class ships. It is scheduled for completion in time for the 2020-2021 season. British Virgin Islands-based Meridian Construction Company Limited is constructing the pier – the same company that expanded Antigua’s Heritage Quay Cruise Pier in 2016. Dredging work was completed by Blue Ocean Construction, co-owned by Meridian and the Antigua government.

The GPH agreement also covers development of retail outlets in the area, said Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

“Antigua and Barbuda has clearly positioned itself to take advantage of the forecasted global growth in cruise tourism,” James said. “The expansion of our cruise facilities will revolutionize the experience of guests with new infrastructure to accommodate the largest ships. This will ensure the destination continues to stay top of mind in the industry and remains a major port of call on the itineraries of all major lines that serve the region.”

Antigua received 794,604 cruise passengers in 2018 on 416 sailings. Those figures dropped in slightly 2019 to 383 sailings with a total of 733,526 passenger. The biggest drop came in March when 66 ships arrived in 2019 versus 80 in 2018.

In October, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Investment, H. Charles Fernandez, confirm details of a Memorandum of Understanding with Royal Caribbean that will govern a multi-million-dollar investment at Fort James, following similar efforts with Carnival Corporation.

“In doing so we are also ensuring that our people continue to benefit and are positioned to take advantage of the host of business opportunities that now present themselves with the exponential growth in cruise passenger arrivals that will take place within the next two years,” Fernandez said

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