Global Ports Holding said in a statement it had posted impressive post-COVID numbers of calls and passengers in Q1 2022 in the Caribbean.
The Nassau Cruise Port welcomed over 603,000 passengers during this quarter, compared to 1,076,000 in 2019 and over 826,000 in 2020 during the same period. Meanwhile, a steady return to cruising also continues at Antigua Cruise Port, which received 156,000 passengers during this time.
This strong rebound was supported by port expansion efforts led by GPH and its port’s teams, the group said.
Additionally, Nassau Cruise Port welcomed the newest Oasis-class Royal Caribbean vessel, Wonder of the Seas, with a blow-out “Party on the Pier” on March 9.
“We’re experiencing fantastic levels of recovery in Nassau and Antigua, for which we are extremely grateful to all stakeholders,” said Mike Maura, Jr., Regional Director of GPH Americas and CEO of Nassau Cruise Port. “The cruise lines have placed great confidence in our destinations and in our teams to protect their passengers and crew. Passengers are extremely excited to travel post-COVID, and we’re working successfully with our tourism partners in both ports to maximize the attractiveness and potential returns for the destinations.”
“While we may not have achieved pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic yet, we are extremely optimistic that the next few years will be very promising. Call numbers are up, occupancy levels are steadily increasing, and we have received and booked berthing requests for well into 2023 and 2024. In fact, we estimate that we will welcome about 4.3 million passengers to Nassau next year,” he added.
In Antigua, plans are underway to construct the highly anticipated $25 million Antigua Day Club (see above photo) at the port following the recent successful completion of the fifth berth. The Club will include over 80,000 sq. ft. of relaxation pools, retail and food & beverage spaces occupied by local retailers, a glamorous casino, and more.
“We are working feverishly in collaboration with the Antigua Tourism Authority and other local tourism partners to position Antigua Cruise Port as the Southern Caribbean hub of choice for our cruise line partners,” said Dona Regis Prosper, General Manager of Antigua Cruise Port, also confirmed new destination developments. “In fact, we’ve specifically designated a new terminal at our airport for homeporting to expedite passenger processing and to create opportunities for cruise lines to take advantage of the benefits of homeporting in Antigua. By April 2023, we will have a state-of-the-art LNG plant in operation in Antigua to fuel LNG-powered vessels. We are also looking at the possibility of providing shore power. These enhancements, along with huge new investments coming onstream in Barbuda, will certainly set Antigua Cruise Port apart from other destinations and position us as the one of the top Southern Caribbean ports of the future.”