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Tourism minister envisions buoyant cruise ship season into 2010

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis


Friday,  March 6, 2009 –  Minister for Tourism Senator  Honourable Allen Chastanet said five cruise ships in the Castries Harbour could become a regular occurrence once  adequate plans are implemented to develop   port Castries to support the increase in traffic and passenger arrivals.


The minister who was  commenting on the multiple cruise ship berthing  on Wednesday, March fourth, says  the forecast for next year is even busier  and the Castries re-development plan  must progress speedily  in order to prepare for next  year’s cruse ship season.


“The numbers of passengers we are going to have in two consecutive years is unprecedented.  For the first time in two consecutive years Saint Lucia is going to exceed 600,000  arrivals and the numbers we are seeing for next year are  even greater. In fact we are going to exceed over 700,000 arrivals next year.”


Several ministers  of Government have articulated  the rationale for  the overhaul of Port Castries primarily in efforts to facilitate bigger vessels, and generate  more commercial activity in that vicinity.


“It really means that plans that the government has been  trying to undertake in the redevelopment of Castries are critical. When people want to know why we are doing what we are doing, it is because the ships are getting bigger. We really have only two berthing facilities for ships of a certain size; next year for example, we have three larger ships that want to come in and we will be able to accommodate only two.”


The minister said that means one of the ships will have to be anchored further out until the berthing capacity at Point Seraphine and the Northern Wharf is increased.

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