CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- Nevis is now headlined as a must-see destination with a 50 percent increase in cruise passengers’ arrivals forecasted for the 2012–2013 cruise season. This, as the Caribbean continues its growth in the cruise industry and enters an exciting era with new and innovative cruise vessels.
Contributing factors to this boost is the unique package that Nevis offers to cruise passengers: two islands, one paradise. As a result of this unique offer, the upcoming cruise season which begins on November 2, 2012, and ends September 30, 2013, has shown a massive increase in numbers. Charter calls and the introduction of the Nevis Plantation Circle Tour, as well as the Nevis Beach Escape Tour all contribute to the increasing numbers.
Ministry of Tourism officer, Tamica Lawrence said, “As Nevis continues to promote our island as a high-end destination, we at the ministry of tourism, along with key stake-holders within the tourism industry have unveiled a number of improvements in the course of the past few months to the Charlestown Port.
“This will enable passengers to experience a comfortable and welcoming docking area. The Nevis Island Administration has spent over EC$1.2 million to re-develop our existing infrastructure on the port area.”
According to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism Cruise Department, the bathrooms at the port are upgraded and refurbished to accommodate cruise passengers and locals who utilize that area, the cruise tender pier is under re-construction to better service the cruise tenders, the drains leading towards the pier and adjacent areas throughout Charlestown have been cleaned and flushed, and additional man-holes have been placed on the port to help with the flow of water.
“We hope to continue this cleaning process with the drains, and have them cleaned on a regular basis. More garbage bins have been placed along the port area to aid in the proper disposal of garbage, and finally the Ministry is in the process of beautifying the port area,” said Lawrence.
“We are elated that the Wind Jammer Cruise Line is now back in operation with new ownership, new cruise vessels and will call into Nevis fortnightly starting in December. Other cruise lines such as the Star Clipper and Sea Dream will also make fortnightly calls this season,” she added.
Lawrence said special mention must also be made of the MS Rivera, a 1,250 capacity cruise vessel, which will make its inaugural call into Nevis on December 23, 2012. Other elite vessels which will continue to call into Nevis yearly are the Azamara Journey, Club Med 2 and MS Silver Cloud.
“With all these new improvements and increase of cruise passengers, I take this opportunity to thank the general public for their assistance, as well as the vendors, businesses, and taxi drivers who provide service to our cruise passengers and land-based passengers year after year,” said Lawrence.
The Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) has taken a robust implementation of the ISPS Code (pertaining to security) and during the days when the vessels call into port, as per the ISPS Code, individuals will not be allowed beyond the barricaded areas. However, there will be some flexibility for tour operators and taxi drivers, as luxury cruise ships that are not large ships but face the same ISPS restrictions are catered for.
"All this, to ensure the best in service delivery," Lawrence said.
“We will continue to improve and expand our port facilities, island’s infrastructure and continue to train point individuals who come into contact with passengers regularly. We do expect that cruise activity in Nevis will continue to expand further in the future, and we call on everyone to embrace this promising and well-deserved business,” concluded Lawrence.