THE Government of Saint Lucia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises to form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in Saint Lucia, and to design, construct and operate a new cruise port in the south of the island.
The MOU was signed during a ceremony October 21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the FCCA Cruise Conference.
The ceremony included David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Carnival Corporation; Marie McKenzie, Vice President, Global Ports & Caribbean Government Relations, Carnival Corporation; Micky Arison, Chairman, Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation; Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister, Saint Lucia; Adam Goldstein, Vice Chairman, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Hon. Dominic Fedee, Minister of Tourism, Saint Lucia; Miguel Reyna, Associate Vice President, Commercial Development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Russell Benford, Vice President, Government Relations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
As part of the MOU, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries.
Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry, according to a press release.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet has called the signing of the MOU “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product.”
“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 in our amazing destination,” said Prime Minister Chastanet. “It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island’s economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism and that Saint Lucians can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers; which means we have to improve our capacity. 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. This will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises. We look forward to this partnership as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of Saint Lucia and for our island as a whole.”
“This is an exciting day for our guests who already love the beauty and deep culture of Saint Lucia and an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President of Global Port and Destination Development for Carnival Corporation. “We look forward to working closely with our JV partners to give cruise passengers great experiences when visiting the island. With the new development project, Saint Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come.”
“The cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40 percent,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean. “We are excited to partner with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean.”
Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises currently account for 75 percent of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia.