CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 22, 2006)
Tourism officials on Nevis are looking forward to a busy 2006-2007 Cruise season. According to the Nevis Tourism Authority’s (NTA) 2006-2007 Cruise Schedule, the island is expected to receive 57 cruise ship visits, four of which will make their inaugural call.
Ms. Helen Kidd Chief Executive Officer of the Nevis Tourism Authority told the Government Information Service in a recent interview that Easy Cruise.Com from England with a capacity of 170 passengers is expected to call on Nevis from December 14th; the Lili Marleen with a capacity of 50 will visit on January 12, 2007; the Silver Wind on February 18th, 2007 with a capacity of 296 and the MV Coral, which is expected for the World Cup Cricket tournament, with a capacity of 676 will visit from April 03, 2007.
She said the NTA had also enjoyed success in attracting the lucrative private yachting market to Nevis since mid 2006. However, work was ongoing in conjunction with other Nevis Island Administration departments in an effort to market Nevis as a yacht friendly destination.“We will continue to attract the private yacht market. We feel that Nevis is an ideal destination for that very lucrative end of the market and we began a moorings project. We started talking about a moorings project about a year ago and that has to be finalised by government. However we want to get the message across that Nevis is a yacht friendly island and we are working closely with our government departments so that, that would be so. It is something new for the season. We are aggressively going after the yachting market,” she said.
Notwithstanding, Ms Kidd said the NTA was excited about the pending arrival of Easy Cruise.com. She explained the cruise line was a part of a company in the United Kingdom with air carrier Easy Jet and the idea was to make air travel and now cruise travel affordable to a market that Nevis had not tapped into before.
The NTA Executive explained that travellers from across the Atlantic could now purchase a package which would include two or 14 nights on a cruise and include a sleep over.
“That means to us [Nevis] that people could possibly come on a ship for two days and then stop off in Nevis for two or three days and then fly to the next destination. So it is an opportunity for us to capitalise on it and when the ship is actually in dock it is in dock for much longer than normal. It would also give the activities people and some of the restaurants [here] the opportunity to actually get exposure to people that normally would not be here. So we [NTA] are very excited about this opportunity with the new ship Easy Cruise. com,” she said.
Commenting on the shift in the Caribbean’s traditional peak cruise season from December to mid April Ms. Kidd said the season had been lengthened to accommodate the added dimension of European visitors.
“I am pleased to say that I see a change, in that, the season is lengthening. It is still probably starting in the beginning of December but it is now stretching at least till the end of May possibly beginning of June.
“That I believe has a lot to do with the UK market because traditionally the US market travels in the winter to get away from the snow and the sleet and the very, very cold temperatures whereas, the UK market travels in the summer for their summer holidays. In fact, all of Europe travels in the summer for their summer holidays. Unlike North Americans, Europeans are given a minimum of four weeks holiday a year most of which is taken during the summer months,” she said.
In order to take advantage of the increase in visitor arrivals, Ms. Kidd explained that Tourism officials in the Caribbean had attempted to fill the existing accommodation sector throughout the year rather than have the perception that the Caribbean was only open during the winter months.
She said the cruise ships would continue to visit the Caribbean from November through April and these same cruise ships would travel across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in the summer. “So it is the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer,” she said.
CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 22, 2006)