Tourism officials today (Tues) welcomed the return of the ultra-luxurious Seabourn Odyssey, an eleven-deck cruise liner carrying 111 fully vaccinated passengers onboard. Seabourn Odyssey is the second cruise line to call on Antigua carrying passengers, signaling the rebound of the cruise tourism sector.
On hand to welcome captain Krasimir Radev, his passengers and crew, was Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Hon. Charles Fernandez, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Tourism and Investment Walter Christopher, as well as the General Manager of Antigua Cruise Ports Dona Regis-Prosper and her team.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority in welcoming the crew stated, “Today is a Special day in Antigua and Barbuda, because we are now welcoming another ship, we had an inaugural call last week with the arrival of Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze and this week we welcome the Seabourn Odyssey. It is a great opportunity for Antigua and Barbuda and it signifies that our cruise industry has restarted and it has restarted strongly.”
Mr. James noted that the first few passenger sailings are smaller vessels and it gives officials an opportunity to test the COVID-19 protocols. “As of next week, passengers will be able to move around in small groups on guided tours, they will be able to visits the stores and do some shopping; this will enable us to get back in the swing of things in a safe manner.”
Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Charles Fernandez, was also elated at the vessels’ arrival and noted that, “It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome the Seabourn Odyssey which was here a month ago when they made a call for technical and refueling purposes. They promised that they will return with passengers and so they are here today.”
He continued that, “we understand that these are very unprecedented times and there are some risks involved, however we are confident that once we can manage the risks working in tandem with cruise lines as well as the Ministry of Health, we can look forward to a highly successful cruise season”.
Captain Radov in acceptance of the pleasantries relayed, kindly remarked, “We are pleased to be back and restart our operations and to bring business back to all of the islands we are visiting. Antigua is a beautiful place and I am sure all our guests are very appreciative and happy to be back.”
Seabourn Odyssey will return to Antigua every other week until September, this Minister Fernandez says shows confidence in Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and the Covid-19 protocols that are in place.
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