Royal Caribbean To Make Multi-million Dollar Investment In Cruise Sector


The Antigua and Barbuda government says it has signed a memorandum of agreement with the US-based Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) that includes a plan for the construction of a new land-based entertainment facility on the island.

Tourism and Economic Development Minister, Charles Fernandez, speaking on the state-owned ABS Television, said that the agreement was signed over the last weekend and that a joint statement outlining the provisions of the agreement will be issued on Tuesday.

Tourism and Economic Development Minister, Charles Fernandez (File Photo)

But he told television viewers that the RCCL would partner with the UK-based Global Ports Holding (GPH), considered to be one of the world’s largest cruise operator, which is involved in a multi-million dollar project here.

“They will be actually a partner in the development of the cruise port and that’s very important for us because you had people saying Global is not a cruise company, they don’t bring ships. Now they have a partner in Royal Caribbean,” he said.

In February, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the US$83-million agreement with the London-based GPH would change the landscapes of the island.

The agreement with GPH allows for US$21 million to end the bond with Antigua Commercial Bank (ACB), US$40 million to construct the new pier, US$25 million to construct new shops, five million grant to fund local entrepreneurship and a further US$2 million to improve the environment at Heritage Key.

Fernandez said that RCCL is “looking to do an on-shore investment” similar to one it has completed in the Bahamas.

“I could tell you it would not be at the level of the one in the Bahamas, Bahamas does about two and a half million cruise passengers now and we are going to get about a half million in about a couple years (but) the thing to note however is that they have already sent a team to the island to look at a number of sites to which they will be looking to do this development.

“They are very serious about it,” he said, adding that “speaking with them and the scale at what they are looking at you are probably looking in the vicinity of about US$50 million.

Fernandez in defending the project said “what has been said is when you increase our passengers to double we are going to have to have more facilities. When you have 20,000 passengers coming for a day the facilities we have now can’t carter for them….so we are hoping to bring more passengers in the summer and the fact they will put up the facility here will more or less guarantee that you are going to get more passengers coming in summer.

“So it is a very, very, I think a great thing for us,” the Tourism Minister told television viewers.

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    • This is really great news, happy to see the government moving forward once again to make Antigua a leading nation in tourism and business. Hopefully we will ensure that all these new projects focus on protecting our environment as well, i.e. solar panels, proper trash cleaning, and good maintenance.

    • Like Atlantis in the Bahamas. Isn’t it great. Antigua having it’s own theme park. The poor will finally have a change to bring their children to a Theme Park. They don’t need to spend thousand to go to Orlando.

  1. Great news absolutely wonderful.

    But what is in the non disclosure agreement?

    Hmmmmmm keep your eyes on the ball do not get distracted.

  2. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock!
    This mere voice in the wilderness has encouraged my compatriots, moreso Barbuans, since 2007, to familiarize themselves with Grand Bahama: The Abdicator Governor,the US Developer and the Grand Lucayan! Volumes have been written about the Caribbean and Lucayan Highways as Historical Referent Points to understand the Political Economic Soci-Cultural Legal and Ecological off ramps!
    Our Independence is a mere 38 years but we have been traveling those highways and off ramps for some 400 years!
    We are the Best in the World at Warri which requires thinking many steps ahead of the final move!
    No Grand Master of Warri is a short term thinker!
    Who created the Land Bank in St Johns!
    RCCL plays the Long Strategy!
    Revisit Falmouth, Jamaica!
    Dust off RCCL Strategy 2009!
    Many of the Old Stagers in GOAB are knowledgeable!
    The Good Hon Max Fernandez Minister of Tourism should have a tête-à-tête with each and every one of them including the Leadet Emeritus!
    The Caribbean and Lucayan Archipelago’s Geography and History must be taught to All!

  3. Where is Mr. Dundas. is he still crying foul that the cruise lines will be leaving. And that he could predict all the gloom and doom for this country. And where are all those UPP supporters that were crying down the government. I guess they have turn quiet. Or are they still marching every Thursday. Well like Dr. Cort use to say they can march up to Macnish Mount and back. Global Port is here to stay and develop our cruise industry and now together with RCC. Good times are coming folks. We really do not need to go to Orlanda to enjoy the water rides. They are coming right here. And you know how long the PM is asking locals to invest in their country and they sit on their fat bank accounts

  4. Why do our government folk keep making statements when there is no concrete decisions. What happens when these deals falls through. Isn’t it better to wait until there is a final agreement in place then you tell the country about it? So many projects announced and very little has come to fruition. Many people have called the former “lady” PM of Dominica tough…..The PM of Barbados is just beginning to show how tough she is and how women in authority will/can be authoritative. Our PM needs to take a page out of her book.

  5. Will locals be allowed in or is this just for cruise passengers? What a thing. Making A&B just like all the rest of the islands. See how much tourist money can be kept out of local hands. Another environmental nightmare coming?

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