At approximately 8:00 Wednesday morning, the majestic vessel – which carried more than 3100 passengers- entered St. Kitts’ waters and, berthed at Port Zante.
MiyVue.com understands that sometime this morning, the Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt along with other officials, converged at Port Zante for the a small yet significant ceremony.
In a brief interview with MiyVue, the Minister explained that he is pleased with the addition of calls from the Celebrity Eclipse, noting that the addition spells increased visitors to the island which could lead to increased economic activity.
“It is one of five ships from the Celebrity Cruise Line that is calling this morning. In the ceremony that we had, the point of the importance of the line was brought up. It represents over 100,000 passengers this season alone. One of the Celebrity officials said that it was just two years ago that that number was only at 20,000. Four year ago, there were no celebrity cruise ships coming to St. Kitts.
“The Celebrity Cruise Line is very important to us and represents a significant piece of the economy. We were very happy to go on board and welcome them to St. Kitts. It represents very significant growth into St. Kitts in the last three years. All were quite pleased to see the ship here.”
Jason ‘Nubby’ Brazier, Delisle Walwyn’s Port Services Department Manager explained to MiyVue that before berthing in St. Kitts, the Celebrity Eclipse sailed from St. Maarten and after St. Kitts it sailed to Miami.
Speaking specifically to the frequency with which the vessel will visit the island, Brazier said, according to the schedule, it will make calls every 14 days.
The Mercury, Millennium, Summit and the Eclipse’s sister ship, Equinox, are the other Celebrity vessels which will be making calls to the Federation for the remainder of the 2010/2011 cruise season.
“The addition of this call to St. Kitts is important to us, as a matter of fact not only just the ship but the cruise line. Over the past 3-5 years, Celebrity Royal Caribbean have deployed more ships to St. Kitts than any other cruise line; especially Celebrity Cruises. So what we find now is that whenever celebrity brings out a new ship, it is deployed to St. Kitts.
“I think it is testament to fact that Celebrity is committed and dedicated to St. Kitts especially considering the incident with one of the Celebrity vessels. It shows they are committed to St. Kitts as one of a cruise call. The Celebrity Summit was supposed to make a call to St. Kitts the day after it happened and they did not cancel,” Brazier said.