Over 2,000 passengers arrive on Celebrity Equinox


Premium cruising continued its return to Antigua & Barbuda today as the magnificent Celebrity Equinox sailed into Antigua Cruise Port. Over 2,000 passengers were warmly welcomed to St. John’s by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Investment:  Senator, The Honourable Mary-Clare Hurst along with other tourism executives and representatives of Antigua Cruise Port, the Antigua & Barbuda Port Authority, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. This Solstice-class ship was the first large vessel to dock at St. John’s since the restart of the Antigua & Barbuda cruise season in July.

“We have truly missed the breathtaking sight of the colossal, larger cruise vessels here at the port, so we are extremely excited to welcome Celebrity Equinox,” Dona Regis-Prosper, General Manager at Antigua Cruise Port, stated enthusiastically.  “As with other recent cruise ship visits, the disembarkation of passengers was carefully managed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. At Antigua Cruise Port, we continue to maintain and enhance our COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols daily to ensure that our facility is as safe as possible for every passenger on every voyage.”

In welcoming the cruise ship, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, The Hon. Mary-Clare Hurst said, “The Government of Antigua and Barbuda remains committed to increasing the cruise calls to our port, and throughout the pandemic we have been working with the relevant authorities and cruise operators to ensure that we remain a strategic hub for safety, synergy and innovation.”

She indicated that the Government remains committed to ongoing collaboration with cruise line partners on the development of heath protocols.

The Government of Antigua & Barbuda recently revised its COVID-19 protocols, requiring that all cruise passengers over 12 years old are vaccinated. Passengers who are over 2 years old but are not fully vaccinated prior to embarkation were required to present a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test before boarding the ship in Fort Lauderdale.

Regarding tours, Antigua Cruise Port’s Regis-Prosper noted that “We are following the government’s established protocols to the letter. Shore excursion experiences will only operate as “bubble” or small-group tours. Fully vaccinated crew members will be allowed ashore on pre-approved tours. We have also arranged escorted private tours with the merchants at Heritage Quay.”

“We are so excited to return to the beautiful island of Antigua and to continue to help our Caribbean family regain the benefits of tourism their communities depend on,” said Captain Dimitris Manetas of Celebrity Equinox. “This is just the beginning. We look forward to many more return visits with guests who are excited to enjoy the island’s legendary beaches and hospitality.”

Remedial works at Heritage Quay, including safety and security upgrades to the facility and passenger experience enhancements to further support reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19, will begin soon.  We continue to enhance the port through the implementation of ISPS requirements. Upgrades to the ground transportation area are also included in the works.

Antigua Cruise Port continues to remain a port of choice for the world’s top cruise brands, particularly for luxury liners and discussions about homeporting are ongoing.

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  1. COVID, ahoy! We welcome you to our sunny shores, embracing the mighty dollar, and offer the lives of our children and elderly to COVID on the alter of commercialism!

    • It’s called Livelihood. That what’s keeps us alive. Making a living. We passed the days when we used to live from fishing and agriculture alone.

      • We beggars… beggar race, beggar people’s… never rise to anything cause all we do is wait for white money from overseas! When we realise this?

        • I guess you have never been on vacation anywhere. cause if you had you would have been the tourist at that point. And you would have stayed in a hotel and enjoyed the country you visited. if you did. Did you see the people as beggars? Or as hosts? Funny this thing called self-esteem.
          And strange enough tourists come in all colors. White, Black, Chinese, Indians, you name it.

          • Those places I vacation, like Florida or England, they have more than just tourist beggar jobs. They have a full and vibrant economy. We have tourism, and AUA. A few small things here and there, but over 80% tourism. We seen what happens. If we so good, how come it’s been disaster when the white man money no keep coming? How come govt need loans to keep services, pay civil servants, pay pensions when tourism tanked? You no see Spain or America desperate to pay their bills because the tourist not come! Only us. We stupid, we weak, we rely on outsiders too much. But it okay… soon we have new massa: CHINa!

        • Narrow minded view. You have no perspective of world economy. Just look at the worth of the tourist industry to Fance and Spain and hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs last year in these rich countries because of decrease in tourism.

  2. Ready or not here I come. I gonna find you and make you !!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck to the non-vaccinated

    • @From The Sidelines….

      Please make sure to #Top #Up, get your #BOOSTER shots like your adding money to your cell phone!

      You never know, which is the placebo or the #Kill #Shot…

      • Hard to make a living when you dead, eh!? All we have is to hold our hands out and wait for white people to come to us and maybe throw a few pittance our way. And now they bring us COVID too. Diversify! Eh, but we got nothin but the beaches… we doomed!

        • to you the beaches may be worth nothing, but for someone else they are worth billions. That is why investor put so much money in building hotels near the beaches. And that is people pay so much money to visit those beaches

  3. I don’t understand how hotel guess to Antigua can come to St John’s, and walk freely. Curse Ship passengers must be escorted by a tour group.
    Can someone tell me the difference? Also I’ve been trying several days to contact government in regards to allowing me to have Cruise ship guest come to my shop in Redcliffe Key. I’ve been unable to contact one person to tell me the protocols. It seems that all the Cruise ship tourist are going only to Heritage Key. This is very one-sided and on the fair.

  4. So, we have rising Covid cases, dropping usa/uk travel ratings and we are delighted to welcome 2,000 passengers + crew, who departed Fort Lauderdale, where ‘vaccination to cruise’ is not mandatory… Unvaccinated are tested on arrival to dock in FLL and on day of departing the cruise itinerary in FLL according to their online notes.

    How the heck does this make any sense?
    These folks spend little, use our water and facilities, hop back on board, govt having collected a sizeable head-tax I hope ( how much is it? compared to hefty airport & hotel taxes & levy’s that our more economically precious, and safer, stay-over guests have to pay) and sail on… Without a care for the increased cases we are likely to see within a week.
    I sure hope contact tracing namrs the Equinox Cluster – which should list as imported .

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