By MyVue News.com Staff Reporter
Basseterre, 23rd April, 2021 (My Vue News.com)-It has been over one year and the financial squeeze has been severe, not only for the national coffers of the Government’s treasury but equally so for the taxi operators, tour companies, and many other service providers of the cruise sector in St. Kitts, including restaurants, waters sports operators and shops and boutiques.
It was therefore no surprise that the news surrounding the resumption of visits of cruise ships was given the positive response it received when tourism officials announced that the parade will commence with the arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey in late July,2021.
This confirmation comes a week after Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, Lindsay Grant, announced to industry stakeholders that the targeted date for the restart of cruise tourism was June, 2021, but he had added then that it did not mean that the regular vessels would be arriving at that time.
Grant has revealed his excitement over the development, stating, “We look forward to welcoming Seabourn Odyssey to St. Kitts. The benefits of the cruise industry have been vital to the economies of St. Kitts & Nevis and we are delighted to welcome our first vessel back, as we begin our phased approach to resume cruise tourism.”
The Seabourn Odyssey, a ship in the ultra-luxury Seabourn cruise line, will be operating on a 7-day itinerary that includes Antigua, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.
A release from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority indicated that the Odyssey will be calling in St. Kitts every week.
Seabourn is recognized as one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines. Its boutique ships are known for their all-suite accommodations and their industry-leading service. Known for providing its guests with unique experiences, selecting St. Kitts as a destination on its itinerary reinforces the island’s position as an attractive destination that offers guests one-of-a-kind experiences.
The visit comes, however, with certain restrictions as St. Kitts & Nevis strives to maintain its low COVID-19 infection rate.
Therefore, said the Authority’s release, All crew and all passengers over the age of 18 arriving on cruise vessels, must be vaccinated.
They added that all passengers, crew, and children under the age of 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of homeport embarkation.
The movement of passengers too will be somewhat restricted within a “bubble” and only bubble vaccinated tours and attractions will be offered to cruise passengers.
As a further precaution, all personnel interacting with cruise vessel operations including ship agents, port staff, taxi, and tour operators must be vaccinated, said the Tourism Authority in its release.
Government officials in St. Kitts have also shared their desire to fully open the country’s economy, as of 1st October 2021, and at that time, those restrictions are expected to be lifted once the health conditions are conducive to doing so.
We see our cruise industry returning with fervor and we are working hard to ensure it happens safely, proficiently, and promptly, said the Minister of Tourism.