By Shermain Bique-Charles
Tourism officials celebrated a major first yesterday when seven cruise ships were seen docked in Antigua at the same time.
Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas, P&O’s Britannia, Norwegian Epic of Norwegian Cruise Line, TUI’s Mein Schiff 2, and Celebrity Equinox of Celebrity Cruises were collectively docked at Nevis Street Pier, Heritage Quay and the new fifth berth, while Star Legend and Royal Clipper berthed at Falmouth Harbour.
Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez told Observer this was the most cruise ships the country had ever seen docked simultaneously.
He said the arrival of the seven cruise ships also raised optimism about the sector, despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That is very big for us. It shows cruise is coming back in a big way. We are hoping that the numbers could jump back up once the virus is under control,” Fernandez said.
Cruise ships are currently sailing at about 50 percent capacity and yesterday’s cruise calls brought a total of 5,405 passengers.
“We are also looking to a good summer. Our summer was not good last year but we are hoping it would be better than usual,” Fernandez added.