It has been busy over the past week for the Caribbean island of Antigua after Carnival Cruise Line decided to drop the port of call. However, MSC Cruises has stated that it is still very committed and looking forward to working towards the island’s future.
MSC Cruises Committed to Antigua
In light of recent developments regarding Carnival Cruise Line and other cruise lines pulling out of the Caribbean island of Antigua, MSC Cruises is staying in!
MSC is excited thanks to a new agreement the island has made with Global Ports Holding (GPH) to expand the port and cater for much larger cruise ships. Both parties have released a joint statement after they met recently.
Mr. Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said:
“Antigua is a port we have long been meaning to grow as a part of our regional deployment. Under GPH’s stewardship, we are confident that the guest experience will be considerably enhanced. We are happy to announce that we are exploring ways to support the growth of Antigua’s cruise traffic with our award-winning ships. MSC currently has 13 ships on order and we want to take our ships to ports that cater to our clientele. Our partnership with GPH is extremely helpful in this respect”.
Global Ports Holding is set to redevelop and invest heavily at the St. John port in Antigua. The port will be expanded to cater for the larger cruise ships such as the Oasis-class from Royal Caribbean and the huge mega-ships on order by MSC Cruises. Retails outlets, restaurants, and bars will be improved to provide guests a really good experience on the island.
In response, Mr. Mehmet Kutman, Chairman of Global Ports Holding (GPH) added:
“We value highly our relationship with MSC, a cruise company that we have worked with for many years. Together, we look forward to helping Antiguans benefit from the cruise business through the growth of jobs and other opportunities. Antigua is a beautiful island with friendly people. We are proud of our partnership and look forward to a long, beneficial relationship.”
Global Ports Holding is the world’s largest port operator and just recently the company made an agreement to redevelop the hugely popular cruise port at Nassau, Bahamas. You can read more about that in our post.
This all comes after Carnival Cruise Line decided to stop sending cruise ships to the Caribbean island starting from November 2019. The reason was due to the island not supporting the cruise line as stated here. This impacts those booked on the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend and Carnival Pride.
Carnival-owned Holland America Line and Seabourn have also both pulled out of calls to Antigua. There could be more cruise lines to follow. Alternative ports of call are replacing Antigua such as St. Kitts and Tortola. Guests have also received letters informing them of the change.
The government of Antigua and Carnival Cruise Line are set to meet next week to solve some the issues but it is unlikely Carnival cruise ships will make a return for the upcoming Winter season.
Keep checking Cruise Hive for all the latest developments covering Antigua and cruise lines pulling out.