THE Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) anticipates a projected increase in cruise calls to Port Castries for the year 2019/2020. The projection follows a bustling commencement of the cruise season, November to March. Already in the first month the island has welcomed almost 13 vessels.
The scenic view at Port Castries on November 15, 2019, showed four vessels berthed within the Castries Harbour, and new to the coast, TUI’s MV Marella Explorer 2 at anchorage. Representatives of SLASPA joined Platinum Port Agency, Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) and Invest Saint Lucia during this Inaugural call. The 814ft vessel accommodates more than 2000 passengers and 780 crew members. Marella Explorer 2 is an addition to TUI’S fleet of century class vessels that offers a unique service, the first-ever adult-only experience.
According to Vessel Captain Richard Watkins, “Saint Lucia was a must-visit destination for us. We believed that the island and the warmth of its people would give the experience that Marella promises its passengers – a home away from home that meets the needs of couples, friends and groups.”
Speaking on behalf of SLASPA Customer Experience Executive, Marva Greenidge congratulated the team on a successful journey.
“As the custodians of air and sea operations SLASPA makes strides to ensure that your welcome and farewell in Saint Lucia will leave an indelible mark,” she stated.
Senior Marketing Manager at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Jackie Mathurin, expressed the authority’s elation at Saint Lucia being a selected destination. She spoke on the SLTA’s and other stakeholders’ efforts towards creating Saint Lucia’s unmatchable experience. Earlier this year, the island added to its accolades being awarded: World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, World’s Leading Island Destination, World’s Leading Wedding Destination and World’s Most Romantic Destination.
On November 5, 2019, SLASPA joined key agencies during the inaugural call of Mein Schiff 2 to Port Castries, another addition to TUI’S fleet. Saint Lucia’s cruise tourism projections are significant, having already realised a 70% boost of the previous year’s approximated figure, 371 calls.
The visit by the two recent vessels in addition to the Carnival, Norwegian, Freedom, Explorer, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lines, will further complement these expectations.