Holland America says no announcement yet, but seeking alternatives

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A representative of Holland America Cruise Line said the company is considering making calls to other destinations to replace those currently being made to Antigua and Barbuda.

The response, via email, was in relation to enquiries from OBSERVER media about the recent disclosures made by Nathan Dundas, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association (ABCTA) who said that Holland America and Seabourn Cruise Lines, among others, have cancelled calls scheduled forAntigua and Barbuda as of November 2019.

Sally Andrews, Vice President of Public Relations for Holland America, said while the company has not announced any changes to the scheduled calls to Antigua in 2019 and 2020, it is currently looking for alternatives to the destination.

The statement indicated that the cruise industry was concerned that the concessions agreement in the Global Ports Holding deal would make Antigua uncompetitive.

Additionally, the company believed that, “The rhetoric of the Antiguan and Barbudan government was clearly anti-cruise and ignored the significant economic impact the industry brought to the island.”

Holland America said the rhetoric does not help maintain positive relationships with the company and they prefer to support countries that have supported them.

This statement from Holland America comes as the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda is addressing another cancellation from Carnival Cruise Line, which was made public earlier this week.

According to the notes from the Cabinet, Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other Cabinet officials spoke with the Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Cruise Line, Arnold Donald, about the reporting.

The parties agreed to hold dialogue between representatives of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and senior executives of Carnival Cruise Line next week.

Furthermore, the two sides agreed to withhold making any public statements on the subject until the conclusion of the meeting.

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