Cruise ships cancel calls to Antigua in droves

A Princess Cruises vessel

News continues to pour in fast and furious about additional cancellations of scheduled cruise ship calls to Antigua.

This is happening despite concerted attacks on the president of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, Nathan Dundas, who has been the main source of that information.

On Thursday, Princess Cruises informed its agent that it is canceling a total of 17 cruise calls scheduled from October 22nd 2019 to April 08th 2020.

The cruise ships included the Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Island Princess, Regal Princess and the Pacific Princess.

This is in addition to the cancellation of 14 cruise calls this week for the upcoming winter season

The cruise lines Holland America and Seabourn have decided to withdraw the Seabourn Odyssey, the Seabourn Sojourn, the Volendam and the Konigsdam, which were expected to bring visitors to the island between November 2019 and April 2020.

The itineraries were listed in the email as follows: Seabourn Odyssey, November 19th, 2019; Volendam, November 15th, 2019; Seabourn Odyssey, November 28th, 2019; Konigsdam, December 11th, 2019; Seabourn Odyssey, December 12th, 2019; Seabourn Sojourn, December 23rd, 2019; and Seabourn Odyssey, December 24th, 2019.

Also, the Seabourn Odyssey was expected to visit Antigua and Barbuda twice per month for the first three months of the new year, 2020, while the Volendam was expected to call on April 1st, 2020.

Carnival had four cruise ships scheduled to visit Antigua through 2020.

Now, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend, and Carnival Pride will visit an alternative port instead of Antigua.

The Antigua and Barbuda government said the Carnival ships were expected to bring around 250,000 tourists to the island.

The announcement comes after the Antigua government defended its decision to enter into a multimillion-dollar agreement with the London-based Global Ports Holdings in February.

Carnival Cruise Line issued the following statement explaining its reason The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement making Antigua uncompetitive. In addition, the rhetoric coming from the government is clearly anti-cruise and ignores the significant economic impact the industry brings to the island. We have built strong positive relationships with many Caribbean countries and would clearly prefer to support those that have supported us.

Caribbean Cruise Line stated is reason for pulling out of Antigua in the following statement:

The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement making Antigua uncompetitive. In addition, the rhetoric coming from the government is clearly anti-cruise and ignores the significant economic impact the industry brings to the island. We have built strong positive relationships with many Caribbean countries and would clearly prefer to support those that have supported us.

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32 Comments

  1. UK tourist
    March 25, 2019

    I cruise a lot and have seen many of the Caribbean Islands that are flooded by tourists by day such as myself. Most go ashore maybe buy a beer and a souvenir made in China and get back on the ship for lunch. Some do excursions at inflated prices sold by the cruise company then just complain about the poor roads, the air-con was not working properly or the seat on the mini bus was to small if you get my drift. LOL Tourists that come and stay for a week or more would put more money into your economy and create sustainable jobs in hotels and supply chain of those hotels. Ok you will miss out on the port taxes but remember that in Europe there is Brexit going on and lots of talk about Visas to visit and customs checks (we just don’t know the full extent) That is making the Caribbean look like a very good option for a relaxing hassle free alternative to Spain or it’s various islands.

  2. Anthony P. Imsael Minister of Free Pampers
    March 18, 2019

    So you’re proposing a mixed economy which is perfectly fine. The question is, do we have visionary leaders who are capable of thinking beyond their political rhetoric? I’ve long argued that we should legalized marijuana and create another niche market in the tourism sector for our island. Millions of dollars are thrown down the toilet annually, under the guise of “Drug Eradication.”

  3. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    March 18, 2019

    Dominica’s tourism ministry should have already been in communication with these cruise lines and ensure that we received additional calls. It’s a competitive world. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  4. GilliG
    March 18, 2019

    Im I missing something here?! The article provides no details of the withdrawals…poor reporting!

    • Concerned Islander`
      March 18, 2019

      Writing is good. You simply missed the reasons the Cruise ships provided. Its costly; has to do with increased prices by the Island’s Government.

      Can Dominica pick up the slack? Make a run for it?

    • Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
      March 18, 2019

      Yes it does. With the port being under new management (London based Company) the new docking fees are more than what the cruise lines are willing to pay.

      • Malatete
        March 18, 2019

        The company is not London based. it is registered and listed on the stock market there to give it easier access to capital. It is a Turkish company, headquartered in Istanbul.

  5. March 17, 2019

    Lol Boi skerrit that cause that? Am asking Francisco telemaque Dodds lol 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

  6. mlm
    March 17, 2019

    do cruise tourists even purchase stuff?
    hopefully stayover tourists fly in instead

  7. Colombo Thomas
    March 17, 2019

    Antigua have a fearless and visionary leader. He is representing the best deals interest for Antigua and Barbudans. Not the interest of Florida crew line’s. Most Caribbean leader’s are spinless and lacks the gravitas to stand up to all the grabbers of our resources. Kudos to A&B PM… History will judge you as absolutely correct with your stand

  8. BMB
    March 17, 2019

    It’s a ‘Dog eat Dog’ world out there folks. I’m SURE that other island destinations are banging on the doors of these cruise lines shouting, “Look us wii… come here instead (sorry sister Antigua)”. The question is… Is our Ministry of Tourism, the Minister or the Discover Dominica Authority among those banging?

  9. BMB
    March 17, 2019

    To: A. George and OpenMind. This is why Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand or connect to what they are reading, they are not really reading. “The announcement comes after the Antigua government defended its decision to enter into a multimillion-dollar agreement with the London-based Global Ports Holdings in February.
    “Caribbean Cruise Line stated is reason for pulling out of Antigua in the following statement:
    The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement making Antigua uncompetitive…..”

    • A. George
      March 18, 2019

      I beg your pardon but I do not recall reading anything beyond the line with the link. Admin correct me if I am wrong but this story was edited to include said info. So my comment was actually quite beneficial, and you are welcome!

  10. Mike
    March 17, 2019

    These islands will tax and fee themselves out of business, maybe the French ferries will take a page from the Americans and pull out of Dominica to force the government to repeal the high departure taxes on its passengers, how can a government charge $86 tax on its citizens to travel to Guadeloupe that is daylight robbery.

  11. Badbaje
    March 17, 2019

    The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement making Antigua uncompetitive. In addition, the rhetoric coming from the government is clearly anti-cruise and ignores the significant economic impact the industry brings to the island. We have built strong positive relationships with many Caribbean countries and would clearly prefer to support those that have supported us.

    What are the cost increases.

    The announcement comes after the Antigua government defended its decision to enter into a multimillion-dollar agreement with the London-based Global Ports Holdings in February.

    What are the details of the parts of the agreement which made the cruse lines cancel calls to Antigua.

  12. Hmmmmmm
    March 16, 2019

    Thats not the only reason DNO….. It is also because Gaston Brown has Trump mouth…..He lambasted the Florida Cruise Association….so its payback time…

  13. A. George
    March 16, 2019

    Ok. So where’s the rest of the story?????

  14. Ibo France
    March 16, 2019

    Tourism is a fickle and risky business. The mainstay of many of these Caribbean countries should be agriculture and agro-processing. Governments invest so much in tourism and then you have severe leakages.

    • Patat
      March 16, 2019

      An acre of land is 660 ft x 66 ft or 43,560 sqft which is 1/640th of a square mile. Antigua is 108.5 square miles or 69,440 acres of land that includes roads, side-walks, residential houses, airports, sea-ports, garbage dumps, recreation grounds, hospitals, schools, churches, commercial establishments, of all kinds, government offices, court building(s) and some greenery with a population of about 50,000 on the island at anytime that comprises many nationalities.

      Agriculture and agro-processing is a pipe-dream for both Antigua and your Dominica because the land mass is just too small. For Agriculture to be competitive and sustainable in both Antigua and Dominica the whole islands would have to be under one crop. Does that sound familiar ? Remember your plantation history ? Dominica never had two or three major crops at the same time. It has always been mono crop . Hence, tourism. Hence, offshore banking. Hence, services. Except if you want to work for US$1.00 per week try your…

      • Rojo
        March 18, 2019

        Finally someone who thinks in the comment section I mean it’s basic business commonsense that small islands such as ours with a lack of land mass cannot be competitive within agriculture in the global market. Simple economics and plus it’s historically proven.

      • James O’Connell
        May 3, 2019

        You’ll get a ton more net profit from the flying Bird than from those sitting ducks. A tourist who stays in a locally owned Airbnb’s spare bedroom will leave 100 times the net profit that then get’s spent right in that community and multiplies amongst your community. It’s a no brainer that your selling your Island when you realize T shirts and souvenirs made in China only net peanuts.

    • Nathaniel Peltier
      March 17, 2019

      This is maybe right for some other islands in the Caribbean but if you know Antigua you should know that Agriculture is not an option for them.

      • Man bites dogs
        March 17, 2019

        And why not Israel did it in the desert, so why Antigua cannot do it in the Caribbean? Just asking!!

      • Ibo France
        March 17, 2019

        True Mr. Pelletier, but most of the Caribbean islands are blessed with arable soil, an abundance of sunshine and adequate rainfall yet they ignore the colossal food import bill and rely almost exclusively on tourism for a large percentage of their revenue. Presently, tourism has fallen disappointingly short to satisfy the government coffers so these administrations resort to suffocate the working class with burdensome taxes. If not agriculture, use the creative minds of your human resources to create new industries. Japan does not have a lot of mineral resources but their use the creative minds of their people, combined with technology, to produce many widely used products.

      • Pipo
        March 19, 2019

        Man bites dog, in reply to your question, Israel also have 12 Nobel prize winners. Perhaps they smarter than Antiguans?

      • James O’Connell
        May 3, 2019

        You’ll get a ton more net profit from the flying Bird than from those sitting ducks. A tourist who stays in a locally owned Airbnb’s spare bedroom will leave 100 times the net profit that then get’s spent right in that community and multiplies amongst your community. It’s a no brainer that your selling your Island when you realize T shirts and souvenirs made in China only net peanuts.

    • carlty
      March 18, 2019

      I agree with you fully. I don’t even think you should invest in one over the other but rather in all. However, we continue to follow the paradigm of the international economy. Industrialization broke the agricultural sector and the foundation shook further when globalization was introduced. Plus, the international economy itself isn’t stable. Note how in the past the call for a focus on technology over agriculture and now that agriculture is one of the least traded products and technology is the most, they are now calling for a greater focus on agriculture because of the negative impacts. We need to remain diverse and invest in such diversity. That is why I have been for CARICOM following one regional policy rather than an international because the international policies often aren’t moulded around our kind of economy but integrate all types and when the outcomes of these policies fail, the SIDS like us feel it the most. Eager to know what happened resulting such pullouts.

  15. OpenMind
    March 16, 2019

    Would be great to tell us why this is happening?

    • Anon
      March 16, 2019

      My question too nothing I’ve read justifies such drastic action

    • A German tourist
      March 17, 2019

      From the information of the article it sounds like Antigua wants to have a bigger share of the money the cruise industry make.

      As for me less cruise ships means a better vacation quality for the tourists actually staying on the islands.

    • Ti Garcon
      March 17, 2019

      The article clearly states that the gov’t of Antigua leased off the country’s seaports to a British company Global Ports Holdings for a thirty year period.

      Then Caribbean Cruise Line stated the reason for pulling out of Antigua in the following statement:

      “The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement (with Global Ports Holdings) making Antigua uncompetitive. In addition, the rhetoric coming from the government is clearly anti-cruise and ignores the significant economic impact the industry brings to the island. We have built strong positive relationships with many Caribbean countries and would clearly prefer to support those that have supported us.”

      Is that enough information or do you need more. Since you online, you can use google.

      • A. George
        March 18, 2019

        That information was not there… and why should one Google if the article is informative and well-written? Then there should be no point to coming here.

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