Antigua

Royal Caribbean signs agreement to increase visits to Antigua and Barbuda

In:
Category: 
30May2019

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.

Excursion Focus: Valley Church Beach in Antigua

In:
12Jun2015

The sheer beauty of the South Caribbean is perhaps best exemplified by Antigua, which boasts 365 beaches, one for each day of the year.  When we visited Valley Church Beach in Antigua, we were blown away by the views, ocean color and serenity of the location.

Description

Valley Church Beach is about twenty minutes away from where Royal Caribbean docks in Antigua by car.  It's located in the southwest corner of the island and is fairly easily to get to, especially by taxi.

Located in Valley Church Bay, the beach features a palm tree lined beach with soft white sand and not a whole lot around it.  It's the kind of beach experience where you will find natural beauty and quietness around you.

When you arrive at Valley Church Beach, you will find a sprawling beach with locals working there to help you get a spot.  There are beach chairs available to rent for $5 each and beach umbrellas for $10.   There is also free WiFi available.

There's a restaurant that serves up food and plenty of beverages at the center of the beach, close to the parking lot.  It's close enough to walk to from almost any spot on the beach.

What will likely strike you about Valley Church Beach is the beauty of the water's color in contrast to the beach around it.  It's the kind of scene that you would dream of when thinking about a Caribbean beach. 

While the water is a beautiful shade of blue, it's rather cloudy, so snorkeling is not a great activity in this spot.

Comments

Plain and simple, Valley Church Beach is a beautiful spot to visit and the perfect beach for a day trip that many cruisers are looking for.

The combination of natural beauty, inexpensive prices for beach furniture and close proximity to where Royal Caribbean docks its ships, makes for somewhere we would love to go back to anytime.

There are only two negatives that can be pointed out about Valley Church Beach: the water is not clear enough for snorkeling and there are lots of locals trying to sell their services and wares.  Neither is a concern large enough to warrant skipping.

There are no water toys or other activities other than something a local might be offering.  Valley Church Beach is perfect for lounging, as well as families with small children who are looking for a beach with small waves.

Antigua excited for better 2013 cruise season

In:
30May2012

The island of Antigua is promising a better cruise season in 2013 thanks in part to Royal Caribbean bringing back ships during summer.  Jewel of the Seas will visit three times a month during the summer period from May to October 2013 and will remain for the 2013-2014 winter season.

Jewel of the Seas is planning to make 29 stops at the island, which translates to 72,500 passengers in 2013.  Jewel of the Seas replaces Serenade of the Seas.

Chief Executive Officer of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James mentioned Royal Caribbean's return was thanks in part due to ongoing "lobbying efforts" by the island. A delegation involving the Antiguan Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture met with Royal Caribbean in recent weeks.

“I think this is excellent news for the destination because in the summer months things really dry up and it makes it very difficult for the key tourism partners on island to sustain their business during the summer month. It is good news for our destination and we are really pleased that the lobbying effort has borne fruit."

Tropical Storm Emily delays Serenade of the Seas visit to Antigua

In:
03Aug2011

Tropical Storm Emily has caused another itinerary change for Royal Caribbean.  Serenade of the Seas was scheduled to visit the island of Antigua on Thursday, but will now try for a Friday arrival so long as the weather in the Leeward Islands permits the visit.

Nathan Dundas, president of the Cruise Tourism Association, said the decision to delay Serenade's arrival was made to ensure the safety of the ship and passengers.

It is normally common during the hurricane season for these ships to make such diversions. They pay very careful attention to the weather patterns and as such they had their consultations with the head office in Miami and us, and indicated to us it was necessary to make this diversion.