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Royal Caribbean signs agreement to increase visits to Antigua and Barbuda

30 May 2019
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean signed a ten-year agreement with the Ministry of Tourism of Antigua and Barbuda that will increase the amount of cruise passengers that will visit the port, as well as development of the port facilities.

The Antigua Observer reports the agreement establishes a partnership between Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited and Global Ports Holding Plc.  Under the terms of the agreement, passenger volume will double and increase to 500,000 annually within five years.

The government release spells out specifics related to the exact numbers and timing, "The increase will commence annually upon completion of the fifth berth; throughout the summer months, a strategy to schedule at least 30,000 passengers, in addition to the regular winter schedule upon completion of the fifth berth; executives will travel to Antigua, to explore several locations, to potentially establish, invest and develop experiences to enhance the destination offerings; upon completion of the fifth berth, Royal Caribbean will schedule its Oasis class vessels to call regularly into Antigua. The Oasis class ships carry approximately 6,000 passengers and 2,100 crew members, making the Oasis Class Ships the largest in the world; an increase in Head Tax starting in October 2019; and Royal Caribbean will partner with the Antiguan government to develop job opportunities for Antiguans and Barbudans on their vessels."

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley signed the agreement with Minister of Tourism, Investment and Economic Development, Charles Fernandez.