Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2024 (SKNIS): Tuesday’s (January 30, 2024) visit of the Icon of the Seas to St. Kitts and Nevis, the first revenue-generating stop of the cruise ship’s maiden voyage, stands as a testament to the success of the government’s aggressive strategy to market the destination.
The Icon of the Seas is the newest vessel of the Royal Caribbean fleet. With 20 decks and a length of 365 metres, the Icon of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise vessel.
Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Marsha Henderson, welcomed the Captain, crew and passengers at a plaque exchange ceremony aboard the ship on Tuesday. She noted the significance of this milestone moment.
“I must confess, it is quite extraordinary to witness the largest cruise vessel in the world gracing the shores of our destination, the smallest (independent nation) in the western hemisphere,” the minister stated. “But it is precisely this contrast that exemplifies the magic and wonder of our industry, transcending boundaries and bringing people together in the name of adventure and exploration.”
Minister Henderson added that the ship’s arrival speaks to Royal Caribbean’s commitment to St. Kitts and the trust it has in the tourism potential of the island, which is widely considered a premier destination in air and sea travel.
“The arrival of Icon of the Seas not only bolsters our tourism industry but also breathes new life into our economy. The benefit of today’s event extends far beyond the ceremonial plaque exchange. In fact, we anticipate a significant boost in revenue as this vessel becomes a catalyst for economic growth,” stated Honourable Henderson. “Our local businesses, from vendors offering unique souvenirs to our tour operators showcasing our stunning natural wonders will thrive in the wake of this opportunity.”
The minister noted that the ripple effects will redound to persons in the communities, and further generate employment opportunities and stimulate prosperity.