A new cruise port is coming to St. Lucia, PAX has learned.
Carnival, Royal Caribbean and the St. Lucia government are working together to oversee a new cruise pier and terminal facilities on the southern part of the Caribbean island, stated a release issued Tuesday (Oct. 22nd)
According to the statement, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to establish “a long-term concession agreement” and 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.
The joint venture will “design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island” that will accommodate the newest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry, the release states.
Vieux Fort is home to Hewanorra International Airport, the larger of two island airports and main international gateway, which is also undergoing a $175 million facelift.
A new cruise terminal will also compliment the new Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, which is set to stage its first race in St. Lucia on Dec. 13—Saint Lucia's National Day.
Rod Hanna, director of sales for Canada at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, applauded the news, highlighting the economic growth a new cruise terminal would bring to St. Lucia.
"We're excited about the job creation and increase in tourist activity," Hanna told PAX. "We know Canadians love to cruise, so it's one more reason to visit St. Lucia."
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastanet, 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," stated 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.”
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75 per cent of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia.
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