Royal Caribbean, Carnival to Build New Saint Lucia Cruise Port
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Saint Lucia.
The two cruise giants will work together to manage Saint Lucia’s existing cruise pier and terminal in Castries. They will also design, construct and operate a new cruise port on the island.
The latter will be a brand-new cruise port in Vieux Fort in the south. It will be able to accommodate the cruise industry’s largest and newest ships.
In a statement, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called the move “historic.”
“Saint 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,” Chastanet said “It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer and grow our brand to ensure that different sectors in our island’s economy benefit. Saint Lucian’s can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers.
The memorandum of understanding was signed during the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association conference in Puerto Rico.
“This is an exciting day for our guests who already love the beauty and culture of Saint Lucia. It is an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and development for Carnival Corporation. “We look forward to working closely with our partners to give cruise passengers great experiences. With the new development project, Saint Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact.”
It’s a significant new investment for the south of Saint Lucia, and would be extremely well positioned as a potential home port for Southern and Eastern Caribbean ships. In part due to its close proximity to Hewanorra International Airport. This main airport is currently undergoing a transformation project of its own.
“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,” Chastanet said. “This will also mean employment at several phases of the project. We look forward to this partnership and this significant achievement for our government”
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises brands currently account for around 75 % of all cruise ships calls to Saint Lucia.
In a statement, the two companies said the joint venture would “optimize the experience for guests visiting Saint Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure and promoting the growth of cruise tourism on the island.”
The move is yet another new development in what is a currently booming Caribbean cruise industry.
Indeed, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley recently predicted a 50 percent increase in cruise business over the next 10 years for the company.
Source Caribbean Journal October 2019