The unprecedented incident which has sparked widespread concern, took place on Sunday, 14th November, 2010 on the stretch of road which leads to the Brimstone Hill Fortress. The regrettable incident was perpetrated by two gun-toting masked individuals and according to reports issued by the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force; four persons are presently in custody assisting with investigations.
Since then, MiyVue understands, two cruise vessels have cancelled their respective calls to St. Kitts, one for Tuesday (16th Nov.) and one for Wednesday, (17th Nov.).
A representative of the ships’ agent, Delisle Walwyn, confirmed to MiyVue that the Carnival Miracle of the Carnival Cruise Line was to have made a call to St. Kitts on Tuesday, but was cancelled while the Grand Princess of the Princess Cruise Line cancelled its call for Wednesday. MiyVue understands that these vessels have re-routed and made unscheduled calls to Angitua.
The Royal Clipper of Star Clippers Cruise Lines, however, which is to arrive in St. Kitts on Wednesday, is still on schedule.
Meanwhile, Troy ‘Spuddy’ Hendrickson, owner of Caribbean Journey Mastrs has indicated that the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and the Celebrity Cruise Line have temporarily cancelled their tours with his organisation.
“One of our tours was temporarily cancelled, which is the same tour which the people were on when the unfortunate incident occurred. It is called the ‘Essential St. Kitts’ tour. That tour is a driving tour of Basseterre with a visit to Caribelle Batik and then a visit to the Brimstone Hill Fortress. They informed of the cancellation on Sunday evening. This does affect my bottom line because that contract was about one third of cruise ship revenue.”
Minister with responsibility for visitors to our shores, Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt was mum on the issue for an entire two days, noting that “I am sure I have several comments about it, I just don’t share my thoughts on this with the press…I am not at the point where I am interested in speaking to the press about this matter.”
Yesterday, however, Skerritt’s silence was finally broken when he made an appearance before the media, at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of National Security.
In his opening remarks, he described the incident as an affront to the country’s economic security and thanked those who assisted the authorities in their investigations thus far. He also expressed thanks to the Minister of National Security, Sam Condor, for the “excellent leadership” he has demonstrated during this time.
Skerritt told the press that since the incident, he has been in constant contact with key tourism stakeholders including top cruise industry executives to keep them abreast of any development in the case. From his discussions with the cruise lines, Skerritt said that no added cancellations are anticipated.