Year-round cruise calls in St Lucia resumed by Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean has decided to reinstate their year-round port calls at St Lucia in order to meet the demands of travellers seduced by the beauty of this Caribbean island. They will include calls at St Lucia in their itineraries for the 2012-2013 season, thus giving passengers the opportunity to enjoy brief St Lucia holidays.
Betting on the popularity of St Lucia holidays among cruise passengers, Royal Caribbean have decided to resume year-round cruise calls in the beautiful Caribbean island.
For the up-coming cruise season 2012/13, Port Castries in St Lucia will see the arrival of an increased number of year-round cruise calls thanks to the inclusion of 17 additional port calls and 36,000 passengers from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Jewel of the Seas ship. The newly added calls in St Lucia by Royal Caribbean will increase predicted off-season calls for 2012/13 over 50 per cent with an approximate economic impact of EC$6 million dollars.
Last year Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines revealed changes to its Southern Caribbean itineraries resulting in a redeployment of the company’s traditional year-round calls to Saint Lucia in order to keep up with the booming St Lucia holidays market. The effects of such move are currently being felt by local cruise stakeholders. The decision to return to St Lucia was made after a series of discussions between the Heritage and Creative Industries, the Ministry of Tourism, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
Image by: Best of St.Lucia, on Flickr
“In a year of continued economic uncertainty, this is very welcome news,” Sean Matthew, general manager and CEO for SLASPA explained. “When Royal Caribbean notified us in 2011 of their redeployment plans, we continued our discussions with the line and worked with the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries to realize their return to Saint Lucia during the off-season. The fact that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will be calling on Port Castries with these additional calls is a reflection of the great relationship that exists between Saint Lucia and the line and of course their confidence in our product.”
The Jewel of the Seas cruise ship has a gross registered tonnage of 90,090, stretches over 965 feet in length and 106 feet wide with a draft of 28 feet, which classifies it as a Radiance Class Vessel. With a total guest capacity of 2,502 and 859 crew, the ship will be one of two cruise vessels taking passengers to holidays in St Lucia during the off season.
The vessel will sail from San Juan in Puerto Rico, offering year-round options with 3 Southern Caribbean itineraries for the summer and autumn seasons in 2013, and 2 itineraries in the winter and spring 2013-14 seasons. Departing every Saturday, the 7-night, round-trip itineraries include calls at various ports throughout the Windward and Leeward Islands, including Antigua, St Kitts, St Lucia and the United States Virgin Islands, as well as Aruba, St Marteen, Barbados and Curacao.
Image by: Tom Willett, on Flickr
Director of marketing and product development at Royal Caribbean, Dona Regis, said “Saint Lucia is a very strong market for cruise lines and this most recent development is testimony to this”
“However, what is most gratifying to all of us who have worked hard to build this sector is the fact that Port Castries and Saint Lucia is considered among the leading cruise ports in the Caribbean. Our demand as a port of call continues to grow and SLASPA remains committed to working with local public and private partners to sustainably develop this important sector.”
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