Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 17, 2021 (SKNIS): Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, took the opportunity on Tuesday, November 16, to welcome the AIDAperla cruise vessel to the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis, as the Federation continues its phased approach to reopening its borders.
In his speech at the Inaugural Plaque Exchange Ceremony at Port Zante, Minister Grant said, “On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, it is really my distinct pleasure and honour to welcome you to St. Kitts for the very first time–the AIDAperla of the AIDA cruise lines and Captain Boris Becker, along with the 1,666 passengers and crew to our beautiful shores.”
“The AIDA cruise line appeals to the German demographic and has always been a critical European partner for the destination for the last eight years since your very first visit with the AIDAbella on Thursday the 12 of December, 2013,” Minister Grant said.
He continued, “Over the years, we have nurtured this relationship, not only with AIDA, but with your parent company Carnival Corporation, and since 2013 we have welcomed calls from the AIDAbella, the AIDAluna, AIDAvita, AIDAdiva and AIDAmar and today, we have in our shores, the AIDAperla.”
The Honourable Minister also mentioned that the AIDA cruise line caters to a demographic that loves to explore destinations and immerses itself in the history and culture of the various destinations. This, according to the minister, is why AIDA and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are so compatible.
He said, “As a destination, we pride ourselves in our rich history from the days of being the mother colony of the West Indies to the era of king sugar which lasted about 300 years until the closure of the sugar industry in 2005.”
Minister Grant also stated that it is very important for us as citizens of the Federation to understand that the destination continues to work with its cruise line partners to offer a very safe experience.
He said, “I want to let the public and our stakeholders know that we are taking steps in the right direction. I know and understand the importance of the cruise sector and industry, and we’ve worked and continue to work with the COVID-19 Task Force and the Ministry of Health to strike the delicate balance between lives and livelihoods.”
“To date, we have welcomed 21 calls from ships from the various cruise lines including Mystic Voyages, Holland America, Celebrity, AIDA, Viking, Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines,” Minister Grant added.
In his concluding remarks, the Honourable Minister said that, “The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is grateful for this call and for all future calls that [AIDAperla] may have.”