After the major announcement earlier this week that Carnival Cruise Line had cancelled previously scheduled calls to the country, the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives of the cruise company have agreed to meet with representatives of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda next week.
Carnival had four cruise ships scheduled to visit Antigua from November 2019 through April 2020. Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend, and Carnival Pride are the four vessels identified that, as of the start of the cruise season in November, will call at other destinations instead of Antigua.
The meeting, according to Information Minister Melford Nicholas, will be held at a mutually convenient location in Antigua or Miami. Until such time, he said, the cruise line and the government have agreed to refrain from issuing press statements or making public pronouncements on the matter.
“We felt it necessary to engage them despite the hostilities we have continued to [encounter]. We see them as an important player. Their total brand and all of the ships that are under their control would contribute a significant portion to the existing passengers that come to Antigua. We do not consider them as being insignificant in the business,” Nicholas said.
“Accordingly, based on a decision we had once again at Cabinet with the senior officials, we have both agreed to have a meeting.”
Meanwhile, other cruise lines have been cancelling calls to Antigua and Barbuda.
On Thursday, Princess Cruises informed its agent that it is cancelling a total of 17 cruise calls scheduled from October 22nd 2019 to April 8th 2020.
The cruise ships include the Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Island Princess, Regal Princess and the Pacific Princess.
The cruise lines Holland America and Seabourn have also decided to withdraw the Seabourn Odyssey, the Seabourn Sojourn, the Volendam and the Konigsdam, which were expected to bring visitors to the island between November 2019 and April 2020.