Three Cruise Ships Dock at Caribbean Port for the First Time in Over 20 Months

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For the first time in over twenty months, the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre, welcomed three different cruise ships in one single day. More than 5,000 visitors were on board the ships, including a vessel each from Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and German cruise operator AIDA.

Since July, the federation has welcomed cruise ships twenty-one times, signaling a marked increase in cruise ship traffic and a welcome boost to the island’s economy.

St. Kitts Welcomes Three Cruise Ships in one Day

There has been a relatively slow start to resuming cruises in the island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. However, visits from Celebrity Equinox belonging to Celebrity Cruises, Explorer of the Seas from Royal Caribbean, and AIDAperla from AIDA Cruises meant a busy day for Port Zante in Basseterre and those involved in the tourism trade.

St. Kitts
St. Kitss (Photo Credit: Mikolaj Niemczewski / Shutterstock)

Since July, the islands have welcomed cruise ships from various companies 21 different times, with Seabourn Odyssey being the first on July 22, reports St. Kitts and Nevis information center:

“This is a momentous occasion for the entire country because it reflects continued confidence that our cruise line partners have in this beautiful Federation,” said Acting Prime Minister Richards during a Plaque Exchange Ceremony on November 16. “Since July 22 when we welcomed back Seabourn Odyssey, we have had 21 cruise ship calls from various cruise line partners, inclusive of our three calls today. We continue to move forward in the right direction.”

AIDAperla sailed with 1,675 passengers, Celebrity Equinox with 1,835, and Explorer of the Seas with 1,794 bringing the total visitors in one day to 5,304.

Cruise Ships Traffic Rebounding in Upcoming Months

With more and more ships flocking to the Caribbean now and in the upcoming weeks and months, cruise ship traffic will see a considerable increase in the islands. St. Kitts expects to have 28 cruise ship calls in November, bringing more than 70,000 visitors to Basseterre. For December, this number will increase again with fifty-one calls scheduled, bringing in nearly 120,000 guests.

Cruise ships play a significant role in the island’s economy; during the entire year of 2018, cruise ship passengers spent a massive 133 million USD. During the same year, St. Kitts had the seventh-highest number of passenger and crew visits in the Caribbean area, with 1.1 million people stepping ashore from a cruise ship. St. Kitts also had the eighth-highest average total expenditure of $131 per passenger and crew visit.

Cruise Ships at St Kitts
Photo Credit: Barbara788 /

The increase in traffic is not just limited to St. Kitts, San Juan in Puerto Rico reported five cruise ship visits in a single day. Harmony of the Seas, Celebrity Reflection, Nieuw Amsterdam, Grandeur of the Seas, and Silver Whisper all visited the island on November 17.

The popularity of St. Kitts is easily explained. Guests arriving at Port Zante in Basseterre, the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis, on the island’s southern coast, will find a picturesque and diverse group of islands that offers something for everyone.

There are open-air shopping malls, cultural museums, stunning architecture, a scenic railway, beautiful hiking and beaches, watersports, botanical gardens, and much more.

Several cruise lines call in St Kitts and Nevis, including Holland America; Mystic Cruises; AIDA Cruises; Celebrity Cruises; Viking Cruises; Royal Caribbean, P&O UK, Carnival Cruise Line, and Seabourn. Guests are all expected to be fully vaccinated and tested against COVID-19 before stepping ashore.

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