Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration, welcomed the resurgence of the cruise industry as an impetus to get the Nevis economy going again.
“I am delighted to see a return of cruise ships to the Charlestown harbour. It has been nearly two years that our tourism stakeholders have not made a dollar. Having this critical sector back up and running is a good sign that the Nevis economy is regaining its momentum,” he said.
The Odyssey, which has a capacity of 540 passengers and 335 crew members, arrived in the waters of Nevis with 300 passengers.
According to Mr. Devon Liburd, Director of Sales and Marketing at Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA), a large number of the tourists engaged in pre-booked tours that included the Nevis Botanical Gardens, the Museum of Nevis History and Pinneys Beach.
He said the tours operate under a “bubble” system where passengers would only interact with the COVID-19 certified tour operators and the staff at the various approved stops, as per the protocols put in place by the COVID-19 Task Force.
Mr. Liburd appealed to taxi operators to get certified in order to be included in the organized tours for future cruise calls.
“Each taxi driver has to be certified, COVID-compliant to participate and if you’re not certified then you cannot participate. For example, this morning we had a cadre of ten to twelve taxi operators going back and forth, back and forth, so we could have had additional persons who would have been able to get jobs if they had made themselves available, if they had gone through the process of getting themselves certified.
“So we are appealing to taxi operators, if you want to be part of the cruise experience- because for right now the Task Force has set out the parameters- you have to be in compliance. So instead of staying on the sidelines and complaining that you’re not getting anything, comply, get certified and participate,” he urged.
Nevis is expecting 39 cruise calls for the season with a capacity of 11, 928 passengers. The MS World Navigator made an inaugural port call on Nevis on October 24, 2021, making it the first ship to visit the island since St. Kitts and Nevis closed its borders in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.