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Cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda set to break record by end of the year

The cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda is thriving, according to recent figures from the nation's tourism ministry. An anticipated 459,138 cruise passengers are expected to visit the twin island nation between October and December this year. More than 220 cruise ship calls will be made during this period, including 12 new cruises from ships that have never visited the Caribbean country.

Cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda set to break record by end of the year

The cruise sector in Antigua and Barbuda is thriving, according to recent statistics release by the tourism ministry. The Caribbean twin-island nation was affected by the recent Hurricane Irma, but cruise ships are continuing to call at its port.

The islands are expecting to record more than 450,000 cruises arrivals between October and 31st December, 2017. A total of 226 cruises are expected to call at Antigua and Barbuda during this period, including 12 brand new cruise ships who have never visited the port of St Johns before. The projected numbers will bring the nation’s total number of cruise passengers for 2017 to 907,172 visitors, which will break a new record.

“This great milestone would not have been possible without the hard work and investment done by the Government in upgrading our cruise facilities.”

“In record-breaking time, we lengthened the Heritage Quay pier and completed the dredging of our harbour and turning basin to safely accommodate the visiting ships.”

Explained Asot Michael, the Tourism Minister for Antigua and Barbuda.

Both islands were severely damaged by the recent series of storms and hurricanes which swept across the Caribbean. The island is home to many hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and beachfront resorts, and approximately 2,000 of these rooms are already open to guests again in time for the region’s peak winter season. Many of the nation’s hotels are undergoing extensive repairs, whilst others will be shortly reopening after traditional summer renovations and upgrades.

Antigua is the largest island of the twin-island nation which sits between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a hotspot for holidaymakers, and boasts warm azure ocean waters, lush emerald forests and landscapes, and dozens of white sand palm-fringed beaches. Situated north of Antigua, Barbuda is the smaller island, and it is a hotspot for bird watchers with the Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Codrington Lagoon. The island is less built-up and has a selection of luxury beachfront hotels and resorts, but it suffered the full force of Hurricane Irma and is currently rebuilding businesses and homes. Tourism officials are keen to stress that the islands are very much open for business this upcoming high season, and are encouraging international holidaymakers to visit the beautiful country. 

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