Antigua to benefit from diversions

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Considering the damage caused to port facilities in other neighbouring islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma last week, several cruise lines are now adjusting their routes to include Antigua & Barbuda.
Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Equinox Cruise Ship, which skipped its scheduled stop in Sint Maarten, arrived in Antigua yesterday with 3,000 passengers and crew members.
On Friday, September 15, the Carnival Fascination will sail into the St. John’s Habour, and the Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas will dock on Monday, September 25.
Other unscheduled calls are expected during the upcoming months.
Nathan Dundas, president of the Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, said Antigua & Barbuda was spared the worst, and it is important to indicate to the cruise industry that the twin island state is open for business.
“We have been communicating with the cruise lines concerning the availability of Antigua & Barbuda to birth some of their vessels,” Dundas said.
Some cruise lines cancelled cruises due to the threat of the storm, while other major companies sent cruise ships to Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricane Irma to help evacuate victims of the massive storm.
Dundas said, going forward, the association will be working with the Ministry of Tourism to offer support to other islands affected by the storm.
“Our main concern is to ensure that our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean get back on their feet as quickly as possible, and, in the meantime, Antigua & Barbuda will be open up for business to assist the cruise lines in this area,” Dundas said.

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