By Shermain Bique-Charles
(Antigua Observer) – Antigua and Barbuda may have officially struck a deal that could see the country become the home port for P&O Cruises’ forthcoming new ‘green’ ship Arvia.
A home port is the port where passengers begin or end their cruises – most commonly both.
The news, according to Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez, comes after months of negotiations with the company which comes under the Carnival Corporation umbrella.
“We have been working with Global Port Holdings, we have been in communications with Carnival UK in homeporting of the P&O Arvia which is scheduled to start in January 2023,” Fernandez told Observer.
Arvia is set to join P&O’s fleet in December and is the company’s second ship to run on liquefied natural gas, which is said to help slash a cruise ship’s carbon emissions by approximately 30 percent. Arvia has been billed as the British cruise line’s most environmentally-friendly ship.
Fernandez told Observer that P&O’s management team is expected to arrive in the country in October to work out the final details.
“Home porting is something that we said we will be pursuing. We are happy that they have decided to choose Antigua. We have been getting calls from other cruise lines as well,” he explained.