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The St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism have announced that St. Kitts received its millionth cruise passenger on Monday July 16, reaching the key number of arrivals that gives the island marquee port status for the first time in its history.
"I am deeply gratified to welcome over one million cruise passengers to our shores as of today," said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. "It is particularly significant that this historic occasion is taking place now, as we have over two months left in the 2017-2018 cruise season to increase arrivals even further. Reaching this milestone at this point in time is truly a testament to the strength of our relationships with the cruise lines and to the continuing appeal of our tourism product."
CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Ms. Racquel Brown added, "In the highly competitive Caribbean cruise marketplace, exceeding the million passenger mark for the first time is a highly significant achievement that is a direct result of our successful marketing strategy. Having reached this benchmark, St. Kitts is now considered by the cruise lines to be in the same elite port status category as much larger destinations in the region. Cruise passengers clearly enjoy our diverse range of activities and friendly, welcoming people, and we are working hard to ensure that we keep the ships and their guests returning to our shores."
St. Kitts reached the one million cruise passenger mark with the July 16 arrival of guests from Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas. The ship, which has a capacity of 3,782 guests at double occupancy, docked at the island's Port Zante cruise pier at 8:00am. Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant led the welcome delegation and selected the millionth passenger upon disembarkation, who was treated to a complimentary ½ island tour. The historic occasion was further commemorated with special t-shirts given to arriving passengers and everyone being treated to an experience of the island's culture with live performances by a steel pan band, masquerades and more in a grand celebration befitting the importance of the milestone.
"We are very pleased to be the cruise line that brought the millionth passenger to St. Kitts," said Federico Gonzalez, Associate Vice President, Government Relations Latin America & Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The island is a long-time, valued industry partner that offers our guests the opportunity to expore lush natural beauty, rich heritage, a wide range of attractions. In addition, our parternship with the tourism team and their ongoing work to continually improve the infrastructure, services and amenities in St. Kitts showcases why it is one of ourdestinations of choice for our Caribbean itineraries."
So far this season, the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, have made a total of 102 port calls to St. Kitts, bringing over 350,000 cruise visitors to island. Including calls from all international cruise lines over the nine-month period from October 2017-June 2018, the total number of cruise ship calls into St. Kitts grew from 358 to 486 as compared to the same period from 2016-2017, an increase of over 35 percent.
About St. Kitts
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island's stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island's former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts' exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visitwww.stkittstourism.kn.