Saint Lucia Records a Bumper Cruise Season in 2014
Port Castries welcomed over 640,000 cruise passengers and 387 cruise ship visits in 2014 realizing a year-onyear growth of 13% and 8% respectively. The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), in a joint press conference with Cruise Agents Cox & Company Ltd and Foster & Ince Cruise Services (St. Lucia) Ltd., representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, in addition to representatives from National Taxi Union, applauded the positive performance of the cruise industry in 2014.
Speaking at the press conference Mr. Keigan Cox, General Manager and CEO of SLASPA indicated, “This performance is no accident as it is due to the continuous efforts of our industry partners to enhance the product offering. SLASPA recognizes the crucial importance of the cruise industry and the many economic benefits it presents. Therefore, the Authority works closely with the cruise lines and stakeholders to sustain and increase cruise traffic to Saint Lucia by promoting Port Castries and by extension Saint Lucia as the ideal cruise destination.”
The increase in traffic can be attributed to a greater number of calls by Costa Cruises, Pullmantar Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as well as larger class vessels visiting the island during the year. The Authority also highlighted the return of Disney Cruise Line to the island in 2014 with 4 calls and approximately 9,000 passengers.
Mrs. Anne-Margaret Adams, Director of Product Development at the Ministry of Tourism said, “This performance is great news for the country but we cannot be complacent. We must work together to develop a high quality tourism product which meets international standards.”
Mr. Matthew Beaubrun, CEO of Cox and Company Limited also highlighted the point that industry stakeholders must take a strategic and cohesive approach which includes having a clear vision and realistic objectives to move the industry forward.
SLASPA anticipates that cruise traffic will continue to grow in 2015. Already, during the first quarter of 2015, Port Castries has welcomed 197 cruise ship calls carrying 292,218 passengers realizing 3% and 6% increase respectively when compared to the same period in 2014. Preliminary forecasts for 2015 indicate cruise calls will grow by 3% while passenger traffic is expected to increase by 11%.
Port Castries is a natural harbour offering dedicated cruise passenger services and is considered amongst the best in the world. In 2013, Port Castries was ranked number 25 in the “World’s Top 50 Cruise Ports of Call” by Cruise Insight, the Global Cruise Market Magazine.
Port Castries continues to attract cruise passengers to the
island in record numbers.