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Antigua & Barbuda’s Tourism Delegation led by the Hon. H. Charles Fernandez held a series of meetings with the country’s critical cruise line Partners at Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry’s largest annual conference being held at the newly rebuilt Miami Beach Convention Center.
The annual Seatrade Cruise Global Conference presented Antigua and Barbuda with a not to be missed opportunity to showcase its products and services to the cruise industry buyers and decision makers. It provided unique networking opportunities with industry leaders from all facets of the industry, and exposed its tourism executives to the conference’s educational industry programs, which allows participants to stay ahead of the curve.
The Country’s vibrant destination booth was a hub of activity as Antigua and Barbuda tourism officials conducted a series of one-on-one meetings, and media interviews.
In its communication to the major cruise lines the destination provided updates to its industry partners on its recently announced partnership with Global Port Holdings (GPH) and the Government’s strategic plans to expand the St. John’s Port facilities, to position the destination to take advantage of the growing industry trend towards larger cruise ships.
GPH also used the opportunity to announce its partnership with its two new Caribbean destinations Antigua and Barbuda and the Bahamas at a gala reception attended by over 600 cruise industry stakeholders.
In meeting after meeting Cruise-line executives reconfirmed their support for the initiative taken by Antigua & Barbuda to improve its infrastructure to offer the best possible service to cruise passengers. This more than anything else will ensure it remains well positioned as a premier cruise destination of choice within the Caribbean on many of the cruise line itineraries.
A major increase for the destination comes from a Key European cruise line partner TUI Cruises whose new ship the Mein Schiff 2, will increase calls to the destination after an absence of three years. Mein Schiff 2 will visit the destination on its inaugural call on November 6th with a total of 13 calls for season 2019/20 bringing over 37,000 passengers.
Another key Partner Norwegian Cruise Lines will return with the Norwegian “Epic” which was a diversion that has now become permanent, along with the Norwegian “Bliss” in the breakaway plus class. This ship will make its inaugural call on December 9th with over 4,000 passengers.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) one of the Country’s key partners confirmed that larger ships will be serving the destination this upcoming season and we will see an increase to approximately 250,000 passengers this year from its various lines. Antigua and Barbuda continues to record strong customer satisfaction scores of 8.8 out of a maximum of 10 with RCCL guests.
MSC cruise lines the world’s fastest growing cruise line, indicated Antigua is and will continue to be a key port of call as the company has 10 new ships on order and will be increasing its fleet to 29 ships with the delivery of one new ship per year up to 2027.
In a joint meeting with representatives for all the Carnival Corporation Cruise Lines the commitment was given at the highest level by all the attendee member lines to continue to work together with Antigua and Barbuda to our mutual benefit.
The Country’s presence at Seatrade also facilitates local stakeholder partners to also meet cruise line executives to increase their tours and excursion business. Local partners included Wadadli Cats, South American Ventures Ltd, The Rendezvous Company and Tropical Adventures.
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Charles Fernandez in all meetings thanked our cruise line partners for their support over the years and reconfirmed our commitment to work with all partners for win-win outcomes as the country continues on its development path to be a premier port of call for all cruise lines visiting the Caribbean. “The Industry leaders have reported that 2018 was the best year for profitability and have forecasted that, with a record orderbook for 70 new ships over the next three years and a record 25 million set to cruise in 2019, the Caribbean continues to be the world’s number one cruising destination. The renewed focus on improving our infrastructure by the Government has now positioned the destination to increase its share of this business,” said Minister Fernandez.
Sea cruising in Italy is starting to grow again, aligning itself with the international trend. This is the message of the president of Cemar Agency Network of Genoa, who presented – during the Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami – the 2019 and 2020 forecasts for the cruise sector in the Italian ports.
An increase of around 7.13% is expected in terms of passengers (for a total of 11,911,000 of cruise passengers) and a further +7.88% is expected on 2020 with the expectation expected to total up to 13 million passengers.
“I believe that such a positive result must be mainly attributed to the new units that are becoming part of all the most important fleets of cruise ships,” reflects the president, Senesi. In detail, this year, the ships will increase to 4,860 units, while 149 ships will be in transit in Italian sea ports representing 46 shipping companies.
Among the 70 ports involved in cruise traffic, the primacy of Civitavecchia (Italy) will be confirmed in 2019, with 2,567,000 passengers (+5.13% compared to 2018). Venice will follow with 1,544,000 passengers (-1.06%) and Genoa in third place with an excellent result of 1,343,000 passengers (+32.79%).
It will then be the turn of Naples with 1,187,000 (+20.35%), followed by Livorno with 812,000 (+3.29%). The ranking of the top 10 Italian ports closes with Savona, Bari, La Spezia, Palermo, and Messina.
Among the companies that this year will handle the largest number of tourists in Italy’s sea ports, the podium is held by MSC Cruises (3,622,000 passengers), Costa Crociere (2,725,000 pax) and Norwegian Cruise Line (863,000 pax). Looking instead at the Cruise Groups, the first place goes to Carnival Corporation with 4,117,000 passengers, followed by MSC, Royal Caribbean with all its brands (including Silversea) with 2,115,000 pax, and NCL Holding with over 1 million cruise passengers.
The busiest months will be October (1,744,000 passengers and 781 stopovers), June (1,505,000 pax and 614 stopovers), September (1,497,000 pax and 627 stops), and May (1,488,000 pax and 687 stopovers), while the least trafficked will obviously be the winter ones, with February and January in the lead.
“The positive forecasts for the two-year period 2019-2020 must not lead us to lower our guard. Italy is in fact the first cruise destination in the Mediterranean, and thanks to the upcoming new ships being delivered during this two-year period, increasingly green ships, there will be further space for growth. The incognita remain on Venice which to date has not been resolved and which creates strong doubts about future planning for the entire Adriatic,” concluded Senesi.
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri announced today the signing of the final contracts for the construction of two next-generation 175,000-ton cruise ships, which will be the largest ships ever built so far in Italy, with deliveries scheduled in Monfalcone in late 2023 and in spring 2025. This announcement follows the initial signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties in July 2018.
The vessels will each accommodate approximately 4,300 guests and will be based on a next-generation platform design, being the first Princess Cruises ships to be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world’s cleanest fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil usage.
“Princess Cruises continues to grow globally — adding new ships to our fleet built by our long-time trusted ship building partner, Fincantieri, who brings decades of expertise to these next-generation cruise ships,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. “Even more exciting is that these two ships are being designed to include our MedallionClass platform, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device available within the global hospitality industry.”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, commented on the announcement: “This result proves, once again, the trust we receive from the market, which allows us to look to the future with ambition. It honors our great work focused on innovation thanks to which we have been able to offer to the client a record-breaking proposal not only in terms of size. Besides we firmly believe that a new class of Princess Cruises’ ships, one of Carnival Group’s top brands, can stem from this promising project. In fact, for Princess Cruises, we have received orders for 21 ships, another unprecedented result in this industry.”
Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion is leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service on a large scale through enhanced guest-crew interaction, as well as enabling interactive entertainment. Guests are currently experiencing Princess MedallionClass vacations onboard Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. By the end of the year, MedallionClass vacations will be activated on three additional ships, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and United Nations reported that growth in the number of people cruising between 2004 and 2014 outpaced land-based vacations by over 20 percent, and CLIA projects 30 million people will take an ocean cruise in 2019, an all-time record. These stats signal a bright future for the cruise industry, as well as for professional travel advisor partners enthusiastic for more inventory to meet the growing demands for cruising.
With five ships being built over the next six years, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing premium cruise line in the world.
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”
In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.
Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.
Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess has announced two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025. Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).
Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one for diversification and innovation. It is leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega yachts, as well as in ship repairs and conversions, production of systems and mechanical and electrical component equipment and after-sales services.
With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 vessels built, Fincantieri has always kept its management offices, as well as all the engineering and production skills, in Italy. With over 8,600 employees in Italy and a supplier network that employs nearly 50,000 people, Fincantieri has enhanced a fragmented production capacity over several shipyards into a strength, acquiring the widest portfolio of clients and products in the cruise segment. To hold its own in relation to competition and assert itself at global level, Fincantieri has broadened its product portfolio becoming world leader in the sectors in which it operates.
With globalization, the Group has around 20 shipyards in 4 continents, over 19,000 employees and is the leading Western shipbuilder. It has among its clients the world’s major cruise operators, the Italian and the US Navy, in addition to several foreign navies, and it is partner of some of the main European defense companies within supranational programs.
Fincantieri’s business is widely diversified by end markets, geographical exposure and by client base, with revenue mainly generated from cruise ship, naval and offshore vessel construction. Compared with less diversified players, such diversification allows it to mitigate the effects of any fluctuations in demand on the end markets served.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has unveiled its new global summer campaign, #WhatCoolLooksLike, which is expected to convey the trendiness of the destination and its appeal as the ideal summer vacation spot for visitors looking for enjoyable experiences. The campaign draws on what makes the country special and seeks to depict in a creative and engaging way the “coolness” of the destination.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism & Investment, The Honorable Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez has high praises for the creative team, adding that the new campaign is timely and reinforces the messages the islands have been promoting in recent years. “Antigua and Barbuda’s weather during the summer is so much cooler than in other regions, our beaches are serene, and while there are numerous events to enjoy, the pace remains unrushed. The #WhatCoolLooksLike summer campaign brings to life what we have been saying for years, and we thank the team for helping us convey this message in a vivid and imaginative way to potential visitors across the globe. The campaign is being executed in all our major source markets with consumers being enticed to visit Antigua and Barbuda to take advantage of the cool summer savings on offer, as well as the destination’s cool climate,” notes Fernandez.
The multi-faceted summer campaign includes a combination of traditional and digital media and will utilize a variety of tactical trade and consumer activations to ensure the success of the initiative.
The #WhatCoolLooksLike Summer Campaign offers consumers major savings on their vacation to Antigua and Barbuda for travel during the periods April-October 2019. The savings will be available at participating tour operators, airlines and hotels.
A key element of the campaign is the #WhatCoolLooksLlike Ambassador Program, which comprises a carefully curated selection of local influencers who the Authority believes encompass what “cool” looks like. These Ambassadors have been commissioned to utilize their social media presence and their country, Antigua and Barbuda as their backdrop during the six-month run of the campaign, to share the wealth of awe-inspiring experiences provided in the twin-island state.
Another initiative is the Global Sweepstakes launched today which runs through May 21. Entrants will be asked to opt-in by location in order to upload a video or photo that depicts what cool looks like. At the end of the two-month contest, two random winners will be chosen: One from our overseas source markets will win a complimentary 4-day/3-night stay at the Verandah Resort and Spa in Antigua; while one local will win a 2-night, 3-day stay at the Harbour Island Residences in Jolly Harbour. The local element of this campaign was so designed to allow for local participation and engagement, creating a platform where local Antiguans and Barbudans become advocates for the destination.
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will host a variety of events, including The Antigua Sailing Week, The Optimist World Championships, The Antigua and Barbuda Sportfishing Tournament, Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week and Antigua’s Carnival: The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, providing additional enticements for visitors to travel this summer.
Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination, the twin-island paradise offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches – one for every day of the year. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is the ultimate celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere. Find information on Antigua & Barbuda at visitantiguabarbuda.com and follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
For information on our #WhatCoolLooksLlike Ambassadors, go to visitantiguabarbuda.com.