A new cruise pier has been completed at Port Zante in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. The Caribbean port is now capable of having the three largest cruise ships in the world, the Oasis class from Royal Caribbean, visit in one day.
The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) visited the twin islands this week to discuss the further development of the cruise sector in St Kitts and Nevis.
With the completion of the second pier, St Kitts’ Port Zante can now host up to three of the largest cruise ships in the world. The 55,000-population islands welcomed an astonishing one million cruise passengers before the end of the cruise season, a milestone accomplished for two consecutive years.
The small but ambitious Caribbean country now holds the marquee status of larger cruise destinations in the region.
St Kitts and Nevis is on its way to becoming the regional destination cruise passengers choose to spend most money in, according to FCCA. Michele Paige, FCCA president, estimates that this could happen within three years.
St Kitts and Nevis’ Tourism Minister, Lindsey Grant, commented during FCCA’s visit: “Our meetings ensure that we understand the needs of the cruise lines and their passengers, receive feedback on our service standards and guest experience and provide insight into cruise industry trends such as new ships and itineraries for upcoming seasons, all of which will help us to remain competitive as a premier cruise destination moving forward.”
Complementing St Kitts and Nevis’ higher-end positioning is the initiative to raise foreign direct investment via the islands’ successful CBI Programme, considered the ‘Platinum Standard’ of economic citizenship.
Established in 1984, the legislated programme allows certain individuals and families from around the world to obtain citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis in return for an investment. Though applicants are not required to have had a previous connection with the islands or take language or culture examinations, they do, however, need to pass all due diligence checks before being considered.