CASTRIES, St Lucia, Thursday October 24, 2019 – Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of St Lucia to form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in the island, and to design, construct and operate a new cruise port.
As part of the MOU, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the St Lucia government will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries.
Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called the MOU signing, which took place on Monday at the annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference & Trade Show in San Juan, Puerto Rico, “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product.”
“St Lucia has had record breaking cruise arrivals over the past few years and we thank our partners Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean for their continued confidence in our amazing destination,” said Chastanet.
“It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island’s economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism and that St Lucians can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers; which means we have to improve our capacity. This signing is historic, as this project will have a major impact on the sustainability of the cruise sector and the reach of cruise tourism to the south of the island. This will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises. We look forward to this partnership as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of St Lucia and for our island as a whole.”
Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation, said with the new development project, St Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come.
Noting that the cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40 per cent, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Michael Bayley said his company was “excited to partner with the Government of St Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean”.
Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75 per cent of all cruise ship deployment to St Lucia. Under the new agreement, the joint venture would optimize the experience for guests visiting St Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure to support the industry’s latest ships and promote the growth of cruise tourism on the island.