BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 23rd July 2021)- Service Providers within the sectors of the cruise tourism industry are being encouraged to their part for the nation’s road to economic recovery.
On the eve of the arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey, Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force Abdias Samuel made an appeal at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing on Wednesday 21st July 2021.
The arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey anchored at Friars Bay in the vicinity of Carambola Beach Club at the South East Peninsula on Thursday 22nd July has signaled the reopening of cruise tourism in the Federation St.Kitts-Nevis since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samuel had described the cruise ship’s arrived announcement as “part and parcel of our roadmap to economic recovery in St.Kitts and Nevis, and in this regard we are asking all persons who provide services in these sectors to please adhere to the protocols, and also we want you to continue the part of getting vaccinated as we also prepare for another arrival within a week’s period of a larger cruise ship.”
He continued: “We want to make sure that we have services to offer to these tourists so please continue to prepare and do the necessary things so that you can also be a part of the recovery road map.”
A press release from the St.Kitts Tourism Authority on Thursday 22nd July said “A symbolic ship to ship salute, live steelpan performances and the renown drummers greeted the Odyssey, her passengers and crew as it docked at South Friars Bay.”
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris was quoted as saying: “Today is indeed a wonderful day for people of St. Kitts and Nevis as we warmly welcome the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey to our shores. Tourism is one of the main drivers of the economy, and therefore our plan is to reopen the destination for tourism and travel responsibly. We have implemented a phased approach to rebuilding the cruise sector aimed at supporting our local economy and providing our visitors with a safe and positive on-island experience.”
Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said: “We are pleased to welcome the Seabourn Odyssey to St. Kitts and Nevis for the highly-anticipated restart of our cruise tourism sector. St. Kitts is a destination that remains in high demand amongst travelers and I want to thank our cruise line partners and our stakeholders here on island for working so diligently with us to ensure that all the necessary requirements were met to allow for the successful return of cruises to the Federation. This is indeed a propitious occasion as we begin rebuilding towards our preeminent cruise port position in the region.”
According to the St.Kitts Tourism Authority, St. Kitts is looking forward to the number of ships increasing steadily over the summer, with the following arrivals: Thursday 29th July, 2021 (Celebrity Summit), Wednesday 11th August, 2021 (Allure of the Seas), Thursday 12th August, 2021 (Celebrity Summit), Tuesday 24th August, 2021 (Celebrity Equinox), Wednesday 25th August, 2021(Celebrity Summit and Allure of the Seas) and Thursday 26th August, 2021(Symphony of the Seas).
It is said that currently, the minimum protocols for any cruise ship visiting in St. Kitts & Nevis include: All crew and all passengers over the age of 18 must be vaccinated; All passengers, crew and children under the age of 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of homeport embarkation and Only bubble vaccinated tours and attractions will be offered to cruise passengers.
Additionally, it is said that passengers and crew are not permitted to interact with the general population, All Tours will leave the dispatch area within the secure perimeter and return as well as All personnel interacting with cruise vessel operations including ship agents, port staff, taxi and tour operators must be vaccinated.
Seabourn Odyssey is expected to visit every week.