Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia to operate a new cruise port on the island. The two largest cruise lines in the Caribbean will also form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in Saint Lucia.
As part of the MOU, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet has called the signing of the MOU “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product.”
“The cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40%,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean. “We are excited to partner with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean.”
Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia. Under the new agreement, the joint venture would optimize the experience for guests visiting Saint Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure to support the industry’s latest ships and promote the growth of cruise tourism on the island.