Less than one week after a tour bus robbery prompted Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises to bypass two mid-week scheduled port calls in St. Kitts, executives from both lines have announced the reinstatement of their original schedules:
“I am happy to advise that Princess Cruises will resume its schedule of calls effective with the next calls of the Grand Princess and Emerald Princess on December 1st. We appreciate everything St. Kitts has done to mitigate this most unfortunate and unusual situation.” Steve Nielsen, V.P. Caribbean and Atlantic Shore Operations, Princess Cruises
“Based on our confidence in the ability of St. Kitts to provide a safe and secure environment for our cruise guests as well as crew members visiting the island, I am pleased to advise that Carnival Cruise Lines is returning to St. Kitts effective Friday, November 26th with the call of the Carnival Victory.” Gordon Buck, V. P. Caribbean Relations, Carnival Cruise Lines.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Ricky Skerritt has confirmed that all cruise lines currently calling at St. Kitts have reconfirmed their intention to maintain their schedules based on the swift implementation of additional security measures in the tourist areas. According to the Minister, the fact that this was an isolated event, combined with the swift arrest and the November 18th charging of the five robbery suspects, also made the reinstatement of cruise schedules more likely.
“Our local security forces deserve commendation on their rapid response in apprehending the perpetrators of this unprecedented crime. Increased police presence was already in place by the time the Celebrity Summit made its scheduled port call the very next day after the incident.” said Senator Richard “Ricky” Skerritt, Minister of Tourism and International Transport. “Throughout my close and ongoing contact with key decision-makers and other international tourism partners in the aftermath of this unprecedented event, I was gratified by the support expressed for our destination and the confidence of all stakeholders in our future,” he concluded.
There was clear evidence that cruise shipping is back to normal in St Kitts when visitors from P&O’s 3500 passenger ship, Azura, connected with the island’s rich culture and heritage when they enjoyed the usual varied onshore tour activities yesterday.
Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at one of St. Kitts’ two casinos or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches. Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.