Antigua Cruise Port welcomed Arvia – the largest cruise vessel to ever visit Antigua & Barbuda – to St. John’s on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
The new vessel, owned by P&O Cruises, has a 5,200 passenger and 1,800 crew member capacity.
The grand ship made its inaugural call at the Fifth Berth where it also conducted homeporting operations.
Arvia was welcomed with a water cannon salute and a short ceremony on the pier. During the event, General Manager Dona Regis- Prosper said, “This is an occasion for celebration. This is also an occasion to celebrate the partnership we have with P&O Cruises.” Arvia’s Captain Paul Brown said he has seen many changes to Antigua’s cruise tourism product in his 32- year career. He said, “We really do appreciate all the work that you have done to accommodate these larger vessels.” Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez also thanked Antigua Cruise Port for facilitating Arvia’s arrival.
The embarkation process of the homeporting operations began in the afternoon and Mrs. Regis Prosper said the successful event was a concerted effort with the Ministry of Tourism, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority, Customs & Excise Division, and the Immigration Department.
She said, “Arvia will be homeporting here every other Saturday until March 11th during this season and we anticipate that each exercise will go smoothly as they have today.”
Arvia will also return for more homeporting operations in November 2023.
Located İn St. John’s harbor, Antigua Cruise Port is the gateway to the city, serving over 800,000 passengers annually.
The port will be redeveloped under the Antigua Cruise Port Development Project through a 30-year lease agreement between the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and Global Ports Holding.
Once the project has been completed, Antigua Cruise Port will have a new pier that can accommodate the biggest ships in the industry, which will make it possible for the port to serve as many as one million passengers per year.
The new port will also have brand-new retail and food and beverage facilities, plus an additional 50,000 sq. ft. of commercial space to be leased to Antiguans and Barbudans.
Antigua Cruise Port launched operations in October 2019.
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