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USVI capitalising on 'Carnival' exit from Antigua

-Looking to see how territory could benefit from the exodus
In a rather drastic move following disagreements between the Antiguan Government, Carnival Cruise Line and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Carnival Cruise Line last week announced that it was removing Antigua from its itinerary, a decision with damaging consequences for the island, as Carnival Cruise Line alone brings 250,000 individuals to Antigua’s shores annually. Photo: VI Consortium
While it was not clear why the Antiguan government chose Global Ports Holdings over the competitor favoured by the cruise industry, Antigua Prime Minister, Gaston A. Browne accused the FCCA of using its influence to exploit the Caribbean. Photo: Internet Source
While it was not clear why the Antiguan government chose Global Ports Holdings over the competitor favoured by the cruise industry, Antigua Prime Minister, Gaston A. Browne accused the FCCA of using its influence to exploit the Caribbean. Photo: Internet Source
VI CONSORTIUM

ST THOMAS, USVI - In a rather drastic move following disagreements between the Antiguan Government, Carnival Cruise Line and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Carnival Cruise Line last week announced that it was removing Antigua from its itinerary, a decision with damaging consequences for the island, as Carnival Cruise Line alone brings 250,000 individuals to Antigua’s shores annually.

As part of the pullout, beginning November 2019, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Legend, Carnival Magic and Carnival Pride will no longer call to Antigua. And the exodus could continue with other cruise ships owned by Carnival, although no other ships were mentioned.

The drastic move comes following a contract the Antiguan government signed with a private firm from England, Global Ports Holdings while rejecting a bid from a company that was supported by the cruise industry. The contract, whose aim is to continue the development and growth of the Antiguan port in St. John, the island’s main town, is worth $80 million over 30 years.

Exploitation - PM Browne

While it was not clear why the Antiguan government chose Global Ports Holdings over the competitor favoured by the cruise industry, Antigua Prime Minister, Gaston A. Browne accused the FCCA of using its influence to exploit the Caribbean.

“The FCCA is literally exploiting the Caribbean,” Mr Browne asserted. “So you will charge, for example, thousands of dollars for your visitors to the Caribbean — and I know that the cruise business is capital intensive — but when you are giving these countries five or six dollars per head this cannot cover the capital costs for the infrastructure,” Mr Browne said.

In response to Mr Browne’s comments, the FCCA issued a statement expressing disappointment while highlight benefits FCCA-member cruise lines have brought to Antigua.

“Carnival Cruise Line’s extreme reaction to Antigua’s new port development agreement was justified by what the cruise line described as circumstances under the new deal that makes its cruise ships uncompetitive. We are clearly concerned about the direction the government of Antigua has taken in regards to its port and we have discussions underway with the government to see if we can resolve the issues,” Roger Frizzell, Carnival Corp.’s senior vice president and chief communications officer, told Cruise Critic.

USVI Ready to Pounce

Meanwhile, the West Indian Company, which runs the U.S. Virgin Islands’ most active port, has been paying close attention to the developments to see how the territory could benefit from Antigua’s woes.

Clifford Graham, WICO’s Chief Executive Officer, said at a Friday board meeting that WICO would monitor to see if the cruise lines’ shift from Antigua would yield additional calls to the USVI. “WICO certainly recognizes that call priority is important as you will get the benefits from early shoppers with early calls on itineraries,” Mr Graham said.

7 Responses to “USVI capitalising on 'Carnival' exit from Antigua”

  • asking for a friend (17/03/2019, 17:45) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where is the bvi in all this?
    • no need (18/03/2019, 01:55) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
      The BVI doesn't need to be in all of this. We are not a cruise type destination. We don't need to be in everything the other countries in. Cruise is not our money maker. And if you read the article nothing in it really supports what the headline said. Bvi needs to stay in its own lane with Sailing Charters and over night guests and people coming over to spend the day.
    • For you and your friend (18/03/2019, 02:23) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      Nothing is wrong with knowing regional news. Some of us have a way small way of thinking. You have to be aware of what is going on in your region...
    • Winfield (21/03/2019, 19:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ask the former Minister of communication how.
  • again! (17/03/2019, 22:13) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Carnival seems very disagreeable, remember when they pulled out of the BVI. They eventually came right back.
  • big daddy (18/03/2019, 14:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    yea..i'm sure they will be back in Antigua very soon...pure talk.. Big Daddy with the big stick and can't use it
  • Politico Nuevo (18/03/2019, 20:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ah wah yah! Wah ah guoing on en Waddali? Tall mon serious ting dis. Look like there may be tough times ahead for the Antiguan economy. Antiguan economy took a tail spin after Sir Sanford exited the scene. It was a bad deal to have one person controlling so such power. The politicians had the political power but the money was with non elected people. Anyway, tourism is the workhorse of the Antigua and Barbuda economy. Thus losing approx 250,000 visitors will taxi drivers, retailers.....etc. Hopefully, it can make up the lost 250,000 plus more. USVI should not be counting the chickens yet before the eggs hatched. It is not over till the ....sings.


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