Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourism Infrastructure To Be Strategically Enhanced


Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable H. Charles Fernandez led a team of Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Officials, who accompanied by key private sector partners, recently attended the 26th annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show in Puerto Rico.

The Tourism Officials used the event as an opportunity to update cruise line partners and the cruise industry media on marketing initiatives, latest improvements to the tourism product and new developments related to major investments in the country’s cruise tourism infrastructure.

Tourism Minister, The Hon. Charles Fernandez has called these infrastructure upgrades critical in positioning the destination to attract increased calls already confirmed on the itineraries of major cruise ship partners, some of whom have reported that they will double their passenger volumes in the next two years.

In a series of one-on-one meetings, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism delegation, which included the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO Colin C. James and Regional Sales Consultant Charmaine Spencer, met with cruise-line officials from Royal Caribbean Cruise lines (RCCL), Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), Carnival Corporation, MSC, and Virgin Voyages the newest member of the FCCA.

Minister Fernandez, and his team held several meetings during the five-day event with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to confirm details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will govern a multi-million-dollar investment at Fort James. This project will significantly enhance the destination’s cruise product infrastructure and enhance Antigua and Barbuda’s ability to adequately accommodate guests in a unique beach day experience.

In a meeting with Michelle Paige, President of the FCCA Operations Committee, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials also committed to facilitating an on-island meeting early next year with top FCCA Cruise Executives. Specific emphasis will be on inviting the Cruise Executives responsible for shore excursions. This will afford existing tour and excursion operators in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as new entrepreneurs seeking to enter this segment of the industry, an opportunity to understand the requirements needed to tap into this lucrative market.

Minister Fernandez noted that, “This marketing effort and the recent strategic initiatives with Global Ports Holding, Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Corporations are tangible examples of the Government’s sterling efforts to ensure Antigua and Barbuda stays top of mind in the cruise industry and remains a major port of call on the Itineraries of all major cruise lines that serve the region.
“In doing so we are also ensuring that our people continue to benefit and are positioned to take advantage of the host of business opportunities that now present themselves with the exponential growth in cruise passenger arrivals that will take place within the next two years.”

Antigua and Barbuda’s destination booth was a hub of activity as the private sector partners took full advantage of their attendance at the event to secure more cruise line shore excursion business for their respective companies. These partners included, Tropical Adventures Antigua, The Rendezvous Company, SJC Platinum Services and Wadadli Cats Antigua.

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James said, “Antigua and Barbuda has clearly positioned itself to take advantage of the forecasted global growth in cruise tourism with attendance at the annual FCCA Cruise Marketing Convention. This event is a major feature on the Tourism Authority’s marketing calendar and provides unrivalled meeting and networking opportunities with the international cruise industry.”

James thanked the individual cruise lines for their support over the years and their confidence in the destination as demonstrated by the strengthening of the partnership in recent months with major industry players.

The FCCA Marketing conference helps to foster relationships, generate new business and share in the exciting innovations that will enhance the experience of today’s discerning cruise community. In the spirit of partnership, The Monserrat Tourist Board was afforded complimentary access to the major cruise event as guests on the Antigua and Barbuda stand. The tourism officials from Montserrat were extremely appreciative of this collaborative gesture in support of their efforts to attract smaller cruise lines to Montserrat.



  1. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Without a Vision The People Perish!” From the Aramaic Text!
    What is the Planning Horizon for Caribbean SIDS! Five Years to the Next Election! Cruise Lines – Thirty Plus Years (Once In A Generation)! Does any of these SIDS have a Port (SEA and AIR) Development Group solely committed and devoted to Planning and Execution!

    “In the spirit of partnership, The Montserrat Tourist Board was afforded complimentary access to the major cruise event as guests on the Antigua and Barbuda stand. The tourism officials from Montserrat were extremely appreciative of this collaborative gesture in support of their efforts to attract smaller cruise lines to Montserrat.” – ANR! Give Praise and Thanks to GoAB! Why can’t this be advanced in the OECS and CARICOM!

    Who’s Zooming Who! GoAB may be miss-communicating an inconvenient Truth to the People Of African Descent but not to the Titans of The Cruise Industry and the Port Developers and Operators!

    As early as the turn of the Century, RCL had created a Grand Master Plan for the Fort James Development! That Grand Master Plan also included Ports in Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and other OECS SIDS. This mere voice in the wilderness will encourage a google stroll to Labadee, Roatan and Falmouth! ST. Lucia which has the most efficient Port Services at Castries in the OECS succumbed and have now granted RCL and Carnival full control of Port Management in Castries and development of a new port in Vieux Fort!

    An unintended consequence may be a final uniting of Labour Day Celebrations at Fryes!

    LEST WE REMEMBER! The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) published ‘TRANSFORMING THE CARIBBEAN PORT SERVICES INDUSTRY: TOWARDS THE EFFICIENCY FRONTIER! Who has read its findings and recommendations in its 133 pages! Where is Mi Gud Fren Dessalines, the Haitian Hero, and others with the 280 character commentary!

    Here’s how the Buccaneers sailing the Caribbean seas seized the Booty which the IMF and WB found difficulty executing! After More than Sixty Years in The Cruise Tourism Industry and For some Caribbean SIDS Port Development and Management, this is the Buccaneers and Privateers rationale for taking control:
    Ports require CAPITAL and PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT; To Be competitive, Port Infrastructure needs REGULAR UPGRADE and ENHANCEMENT; Governments have competing needs for CAPITAL; Governments manage ports with POLITICAL AGENDAS; Private operators run ports for Commerce NOT JOB CREATION; and here is the kicker which all of the Caribbean SIDS have exhibited a shortsighted vision GROWING USAGE DEMAND CAN PAY FOR PRIVATELY FINANCED INFRASTRUCTURE!

    “My People, we are free this night. But Freedom cannot exist without responsibility. The full burden of our freedom now rests squarely upon our shoulders. what we do with that freedom is our responsibility, we can blame no other. … // The ultimate safeguard of independence is productivity. This nation born again tonight, must commit itself to work and to work hard. For if we fail to do so, the consequence of our failure will be dependence on a new master who will, once again, dictate our policies and direct our affairs.//We must not have Struggled so long and with such fortitude to exchange one master for another!” VC Bird Independence Speech November 01, 1981! How Fitting and Timely!

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