P&O’s biggest new cruise ship visits Port Kingstown
November 11, 2016
P&O’s biggest new cruise ship visits Port Kingstown

Today, stakeholders within the cruise tourism industry are in for an exciting and challenging day, as P&O Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, The Britannia, makes its maiden call at Port Kingstown.

The Britannia was delivered to its owners in March 2015 and was deployed to the Caribbean soon after. The ship has a gross tonnage of 143,000, with passenger capacity of 3,647 and a crew of 1,350. Britannia was voted {{more}}Best New Ocean Ship by Cruise International Awards in 2015.

The 2016 cruise season officially began on Wednesday, October 26, with the visit of the MS Europa 2 at Mayreau.

Michele Forsyth of Corea and Company, the ship’s agent, told SEARCHLIGHT that the ship arrived with over 400 guests onboard, who journeyed from the ABC islands and were excited to have a real Caribbean beach picnic ashore. Forsyth further stated that the bright and sunny morning was not without its challenges, as around mid-morning into noon, continuous showers threatened to mar the visit’s success; however, everything went smoothly and a wonderful day was had by all.

“We are very happy to see the return of the Aida Diva and Azura, and look forward to a bigger ship from Thomson, which will be making calls both in Bequia and Kingstown. In addition, we have been steadily adding calls from Costa Cruises, which visited us for the first time last season; the most exciting news of this season, however, will be the arrival of the Britannia.”

Preparations for this inaugural call were being made and changes were expected at the port, in order to facilitate the ship, which is the biggest that St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has hosted so far.

“The modern cruise industry has seen a trend towards the building of more and more megaships and we have to keep up in order to continue being a competitive port in the region. All the major players in the industry, including us at Coreas, are committed to making these 10 calls a success,” Forsyth stated.

Bequia will see its first arrival on November 14. Stakeholders at both Port Kingstown and Bequia are expecting good things this year as, although the number of cruise calls remains approximately the same, the vessels making the calls are, in some cases, bigger and so more guests and crew are expected; with a potential for greater revenue.

Altogether, with ships booked at each of the six ports of call, the country is expected to host in excess of 220 cruise calls for the 2016-17 season. 37 calls will be made at Port Kingstown. (AC)