Royal Caribbean has signed a 10 year agreement that will see the cruise line double their visits to Antigua and Barbuda the Antigua Observer is reporting.
In addition to the increased port visits to the Caribbean nation, the agreement includes the development of facilities at the port including a pier that will be able to accommodate the largest class of cruise ships in the world, the Oasis class.
The agreement includes “a strategy to double passenger volumes, increasing to 500,000 annually within five years. The increase will commence annually upon completion of the fifth berth; throughout the summer months, a strategy to schedule at least 30,000 passengers, in addition to the regular winter schedule upon completion of the fifth berth; executives will travel to Antigua, to explore several locations, to potentially establish, invest and develop experiences to enhance the destination offerings; upon completion of the fifth berth, Royal Caribbean will schedule its Oasis class vessels to call regularly into Antigua. The Oasis class ships carry approximately 6,000 passengers and 2,100 crew members, making the Oasis Class Ships the largest in the world; an increase in Head Tax starting in October 2019; and Royal Caribbean will partner with the Antiguan government to develop job opportunities for Antiguans and Barbudans on their vessels”.
Royal Caribbean will be working with Global Ports Holdings in completing the project.
The agreement was signed by Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley and the Minister of Tourism, Investment and Economic Development, Charles Fernandez.
Five Royal Caribbean cruise ships are currently scheduled to visit Antigua later this year, Freedom of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Explorer of the Seas.