Antigua Cruise Port has finalized negotiations with Carnival-owned P&O Cruises, the world’s largest leisure company, to homeport a new mega-ship in Antigua.
The vessel “Arvia,” which translates from Latin to “From the Seashore”, is currently under construction in Germany and will join the P&O Cruises fleet in December 2022. Antigua Cruise Port led by Dona Regis-Prosper, Global Ports Holdings General Manager for Antigua, expressed her excitement with P&O’s notice of home-porting at the GPH Antigua Cruise Port.
“ We are thrilled to partner with P&O and the Antigua Ministry of Tourism in the return to cruise tourism in Antigua” said Regis-Prosper. Global Ports Holding PLC entered into a concession agreement with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 2019 to develop and manage Antigua’s cruise port.
As part of this agreement, GPH recently completed construction of the fifth berth, which is the newest pier at St. John’s Port. Arvia is one of the first ships confirmed to use the new pier, which will enable Oasis class and Excellence class vessels to bring tens of thousands of additional passengers to Antigua annually.
“The anticipation of more cruise ships coming into Antigua faster than originally projected means that we will push the start of the $2 million uplift of the Heritage Quay Shopping Mall and the $25 million commercial development at Pointe to begin as quickly as possible,” she continued.
GM Dona Regis- Prosper thanked her team, the Government and other industry partners for their continued support and commitment to the development of Antigua Cruise Product.
In addition to a major transit port, Antigua is uniquely positioned for home-porting for cruise lines, offering key services that provide convenience and added value for cruise passengers and vessels.
In addition to its strategically beneficial location at the heart of the Caribbean, Antigua boasts various home-porting assets including the ability to facilitate airlift from major cities in Europe and North America, allocation of a designated airport terminal for home-porting, five berths, and provisioning and other services at the port.
Colin Murphy, Head of Business Development in the Americas for GPH, heralded the new partnership as “one of the many significant benefits that working with GPH has been able to bring to Antigua.” He added that “No matter which destination we partner with, we are always focused on supporting the success and welfare of the community.
Our strong relationships with the cruise lines helped us to support the finalization of homeport deals in Nassau, Bahamas and now, we have delivered a similarly successful opportunity for Antigua. We will continue to collaborate with our cruise partners to find the most meaningful ways to create lasting benefits for destinations like Antigua that have given us an opportunity to help them enhance their tourism product. It’s a win for everyone.”
Mrs. Regis-Prosper added that, “Our booking rates for the second half of 2021 and for 2022 remain steady, so we are truly looking forward to resuming cruising and helping our Heritage Quay tenants, downtown stakeholders, and other port partners return to a sense of normalcy. We know that our tourism partners are very anxious to return to work, as are we, so we are doing everything we can to help resume cruising to and from Antigua safely.
This includes launching discussions with cruise lines that have not historically called on our port. We will continue to work with the Government and other relevant partners to ensure that Antigua & Barbuda embraces these considerable opportunities quickly in our very competitive Caribbean cruise market.”