by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): “We are expecting the Seabourn Odyssey to make a port of call and tender at south Friars Bay area on the 22nd of July 2021. In this regard we are appealing to all the tourism stakeholders who will be participating in this exercise, to ensure that they have cleared all the necessary protocols and procedures with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. We want to ensure that everyone who will be working within this sector has already been cleared to do so through the said Tourism Authority.
We are also expecting the Celebrity Millennium to arrive, or make a port of call [at] Port Zante on the 28th of July 2021 if all goes well. With that in mind, we want to encourage persons working in the sector to be prepared. If you have not been vaccinated, go and get vaccinated, and hopefully, you can benefit from the arrival of the cruise industry once more.” were the sentiments expressed by Abdias Samuel, Chair of the COVID-19 Taskforce, during his presentation at the July 14 press briefing hosted by the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC).
As previously announced, from July 22, 2021, and onwards St. Kitts and Nevis will welcome cruise tourism back to our shores, according to the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lindsay Grant, during his presentation at the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on July 8, 2021.
Initially, the first cruise ship to dock at our ports in 15 months was slated to arrive on July 14 but was rescheduled because of the previous lockdown measures.
The Seabourn Odyssey and the Celebrity Millennium are scheduled to arrive in July 2021, with the first cruise ship, Seabourn Odyssey, slated for arrival on Thursday, July 22 and the Celebrity Millennium slated for a July 28 arrival.
Both Cruise ships are expected to make weekly visits to the Federation going forward.
How will the restart of cruise tourism look?
In the initial stages of the restart of cruise tourism here, the tourism minister said that we should not expect to see tourists in Basseterre as the government has decided on a phased restart of the sector.
“When the passengers alight from the cruise vessel, they are going to go into bubble tours… they will not have direct contact with the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
If they are going to tour at [Brimstone Hill], all the persons working at [Brimstone Hill] would be vaccinated… So, they will leave from the ship to the designated transportation to Brimstone Hill in a bubble that means all the persons that they will come into contact with will be vaccinated; they will visit Brimstone Hill or whichever tour they visit, and they come back to the ship in the same bubble without being allowed to have contact with our citizens… when they come off their ship on the 22, you are not going to see them in the town of Basseterre and we are not going to allow that in the initial stages,” explained Minister Grant.
The ships are expected to come with 98 percent of their onboard crew to be vaccinated and 95 percent of the passengers to be vaccinated.