St. Kitts has been one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean in recent weeks. The St. Kitts and Nevis government has also been actively looking to lessen the impact of several COVID-19 measures that directly impact cruises and tourism, including training locals in operating during these challenging times.
Bringing Down the Barriers
The new Omicron variant had the world tensing initially, but according to the St. Kitts government, the new variant is not more dangerous than the Delta variant. To that end, the government has decided to take several measures to enhance cruise ship visitors’ ability to enjoy the island. At the same time, tourists arriving by air with a negative test will be much better off.
The changes are mainly to do with the area around the port for cruise ship traffic. To increase the amount of business around the area, the protective barriers erected at Port Zante for the safety of citizens and residents will be removed on Saturday, December 11. This will effectively make Port Zante more accessible to local vendors and cruise ship passengers.
The other change does not necessarily affect cruise ship passengers. Guests flying in by air are no longer required to complete a period in quarantine before being allowed in public areas.
The relaxation of measures on St. Kitts and Nevis comes after the island has received record-breaking numbers of cruise ship passengers, and locals have been trained how to deal with COVID-19 in the tourism trade.
St Kitts & Nevis Cruise Tourism Increases
It’s been a busy couple of months for those involved in St. Kitts and Nevis tourism sectors. Government training sessions that expose tourism workers to what COVID-19 is, preventive and control measures, non-pharmaceutical measures, and the importance of sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting of work areas have been ongoing.
In the meantime, cruise ships have been arriving in increasing numbers. According to a government spokesperson, thousands have been trained already, including 2,000 just on the island of Nevis:
“Our estimation is that we would have seen approximately 2,000 or just over 2,000 individuals trained on the island of Nevis. This would include persons working in the water transport sector, the entertainment sector, hotel and accommodation, food and beverage so that’s restaurants/bars.”
St Kitts and Nevis have been taking a well-planned and careful approach to the re-opening of tourism. Despite opening up for tourism and cruise ships quite late, the islands have seen multiple ships visiting daily in recent weeks.
This week, the absolute highpoint came when no less than three Celebrity cruise ships and one vessel from German operator AIDA visited in one day. The vessels that visited were Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Constellation, the new Celebrity Apex, and the AIDAluna.
During November, St. Kitts enjoyed a steady stream of cruise ship traffic. A total of 28 cruise ship calls were recorded, bringing 41,000 visitors to Basseterre. For December, this number will increase to more than 60 cruise ship calls, no surprise that the government is doing its best to increase the business opportunities for locals.