BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 25, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, led by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, rolled out the welcome carpet for the captain, crew and visitors of the Viking Orion cruise vessel which made its inaugural call to the Federation today (Monday, October 25), bringing with it some 366 passengers to the island.
The Ministry of Tourism hosted a plaque exchange ceremony at Port Zante to commemorate the occasion.
During that ceremony, Prime Minister Harris highlighted the significant impact of this call and other scheduled cruise visits to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Tourism is critically important to us in these parts and cruise tourism is a significant part of the overall tourism product. With it comes job, with it comes higher incomes, with it comes optimism for the future, and our commitment to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will always be for a stronger and safer future,” the prime minister said.
“This visit is an optimistic development; it is sending the right signal of your commitment to our destination and our commitment to the Viking brand,” Dr. Harris added.
Since 2016, a number of vessels from the Viking cruise line have been making regular calls to St. Kitts’ Port Zante. These include the Viking Star, the Viking Sea, the Viking Sky and the Viking Sun.
In presenting the Destination Plaque to Captain Richard Svardmark, Prime Minister Harris said, “We want to thank you for coming because we appreciate that you do have a choice. This, I am advised, is the inaugural visit of the Viking Orion and so we thank you for coming and we hope that the experiences that are recounted when the passengers get back onboard will redound well for increased visits by your cruise in the not too distant future.”
Plaques were also presented to the captain by Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant and cruise agent Delisle Walwyn & Co Ltd.
The Viking Orion is the fourth cruise ship to visit St. Kitts and Nevis since the Federation reopened its borders to cruise vessels in September following an 18-month closure due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.