ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Saturday October 28, 2017 – Antigua and Barbuda is expecting a bumper cruise tourism year.
Between October and December 31 this year, the destination will welcome and receive a projected 459,138 cruise guests from 226 ship calls. Of those calls, 57 were recent additions to the schedule and 12 will be inaugural calls from ships that have never visited the port in Antigua before.
That means the total estimate of cruise ship visitors to Antigua and Barbuda for the entire year will be the highest ever, with some 907,172 visitors, making 2017 a record-breaking year for cruise tourism.
Several days in December will see multiple calls with the largest number of cruise passengers ever to visit the island scheduled to arrive on December 26, Boxing Day, with over 20,000 passengers and crew members from eight ships arriving on island.
Preliminary meetings and contingency plans have already started with all key cruise tourism stakeholders along with the various support and security services, to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda offers our cruise guests a first-class experience to mark this special day along with the additional cruise ship calls in the upcoming days and weeks.
“This trend of increased cruise ship calls will continue into the first quarter of 2018 and result in significant impact to the Antigua and Barbuda’s economy. One of the criteria that is evaluated by cruise itinerary planners to determine where ships are deployed is the feedback from guests as to their experience in each port of call,” the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Association said in a release.
“It is therefore critical that while the country continues in its efforts to attract more cruise ship visitors, a collective effort must be made by all residents to ensure that we provide a warm and unforgettable welcome to our many cruise passengers who will be visiting us for the very first time.”