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Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 16, 2019 (SKNIS): The visitor experience for excursionists on cruise vessels docking in St. Kitts is now dramatically improved following the partial handover of the second cruise pier at Port Zante.

The partial handover ensured that Monday (December 16, 2019) was a historic day in St. Kitts and Nevis as four ships docked at Port Zante simultaneously. The Celebrity Summit and the Seabourn Odyssey were docked at the second cruise pier, while the Britannia and the Anthem of the Seas were moored at the original cruise pier. The four ships have a combined maximum capacity of 12,177 passengers.

“This is a tremendous achievement for us,” said Raquel Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “We know that the guest experience is what matters and for St. Kitts specifically, visitors want to have the experience of coming into Port Zante. Port Zante is that experience that is very unique because they can go through Basseterre and they can freely walk where they are safe.”

Ms. Brown added that St. Kitts has the only open cruise port in the Caribbean, and this new pier will help to strengthen the reputation of the island as being a top destination for cruise passengers. St. Kitts was recently named as the Cruise Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal in the publication’s Caribbean Travel Awards 2020.

Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that the success story of the second cruise pier stands as a testament to the “tremendous work” being done by the Ministries of Tourism and Public Infrastructure.

“It’s a great facility, it costs a lot of money and we expect to see millions coming to our shores on an annual basis,” Minister Grant stated.

St. Kitts welcomed a million cruise passengers for the first time during the 2017-18 cruise season. This tremendous feat was repeated last year for the 2018-19 cruise season.

“We expect to do no less this year and I know already the following year 2020-21 is going to be a bumper year for the tourism industry,” Honourable Grant stated.

The minister thanked everyone who worked on the second cruise pier and encouraged stakeholders to be prepared for the added opportunities that are likely to develop as a result of the operations of the new pier.

The start of limited operations at the pier was witnessed by several senior government officials including Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and Minister of Public Infrastructure the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd. Chairman of the St. Christopher and Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) Gary Da Silva, and SCASPA’s CEO Denzil James, as well as Executive Director at Delisle Walwyn, Clayton Perkins. The officials greeted persons welcoming them ashore.

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