Cruise visitor arrivals to St. Kitts are expected to increase by more than 20% in the October 2011-September 2012 cruise ship season, according to Minister of Tourism Ricky Skerritt.
“It is a significant achievement for St. Kitts to be able to forecast a fifth consecutive year of growth in cruise arrivals for the upcoming season,” Skerritt said. “Based on the bookings we have so far, more than 650,000 cruise passengers will arrive in St. Kitts by September 2012.”
Most of the major cruise companies operating in the Caribbean now call at St. Kitts.
Lines that are scheduled to call in St. Kitts in the 2011-2012 season include Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, P&O, Cunard, Azamara, Seabourn, Silversea, Star Clipper, Windstar, Fred Olson, Saga, Thompson and TUI Cruises. St. Kitts’ Port Zante will welcome Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas on its inaugural call on Dec. 30.
In the 2009-2010 cruise season, St. Kitts passed the half-million passenger arrival mark for the first time.
Commercial development at Port Zante over the past six years has added a duty-free shopping area.
Further development of onshore attractions and the prospect of a second cruise pier at Port Zante are expected to continue to fuel the development of cruise tourism to the island, according to Skerritt.