Antigua and Barbuda Present Cruise Master Plan

Minister Asot Michael with Adam Goldstein, President and COO Royal Caribbean Cruises After three days of discussions and presentations to the cruise industry in South Florida, Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Honorable Asot A. Michael, is “very encouraged” about the future of his country’s cruise sector, according to a statement.

The Minister and his group met with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Holland America, Seabourn and Princess over the course of three days.

“The cruise executives and itinerary planners were impressed with our vision for improving how Antigua will be welcoming their ships and passengers, and their feedback has helped us to better understand their specific needs for achieving sustainable growth,” said Minister Asot Michael. “I am confident that we have developed the right master plan, and it is now up to our Government to identify additional financing to complete what we started last year when we successfully implemented critically needed marine improvements at St. John’s Harbour and the Heritage Pier.”

According to a statement, there is also the idea of creating a beach-focused island style destination in Barbuda for cruise ships, which garnered interest from the cruise lines.

Minister Michael was accompanied at his cruise industry meetings by his cruise-sector advisor, Ricky Skerritt, Tourism Authority Board member Nathan Dundas, Antigua & Barbuda Port Authority CEO Darwin Telemaque, and representatives of the BEA-Meridian design and construction team who are responsible for designing and constructing the master plan.

In 2016, under the leadership of Minister Michael, the Antigua & Barbuda Government started a cruise facilities and downtown development program. To date, some $50 million has already been spent on the harbor and lengthening and strengthening the Heritage Pier to allow for the berthing of larger ships up.

It all came together for the Anthem of the Seas, which became the largest ship ever to dock in Antigua when it arrived on Dec. 2.

The master plan calls for further dredging of the approach channel and turning area, the creation of a fifth berth, and land reclamation to help with major improvements to pedestrian and vehicle flows, town aesthetics, tour operations, and shopping.

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