For the first time since the onslaught of the pandemic, St Lucia welcomed cruise liners when the Celebrity Millenium ship docked on Tuesday, June 29.
The Celebrity Millenium is the first cruise line to be given the green light to dock on the island with 400 passengers onboard.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee were on hand as the Celebrity Millennium vessel arrived at Pointe Seraphine. They reiterated the significance of the arrival and the reopening of the sector which will economically benefit taxi drivers, vendors, tour guides and other tourism stakeholders that have been severely impacted throughout the pandemic.
Minister Fedee stated that “It’s a great day for vendors, taxi drivers, workers of the duty-free stores at Pointe Seraphine, and the general economy. This is another step towards the successful reopening of our economy and returning to our normal lives.”
He highlighted that passengers would be headed to Anse La Raye, Pigeon Island and Soufriere, and that the cruise industry is already showing tremendous economic impact across St. Lucia.
Passengers are encouraged to be vaccinated prior to travel. In addition to pre-embarkation testing requirements and pre-disembarkation screening in the country, with all cruises to St Lucia ensuring coordination of the arrival process, passengers will disembark in batches of 25.
According to Public Relations Manager at the St. Lucia Tourism Authority, Geraine Georges, all passengers on the ship are vaccinated except for ten children.
Fully vaccinated cruise passengers will be allowed to disembark, wear a wrist band which is in keeping with protocols that have been put in place for visitors to enjoy expanded access to the island which includes shopping, dining, beaches and more.
Unvaccinated passengers, as well as vaccinated adults traveling with unvaccinated minors, will be accommodated in a bubble, transferred to designated, certified sites and attractions and back to the cruise terminal for boarding to their next port of call.
In 2019, St Lucia recorded 786,703 cruise visitors, a 3.5 per cent increase over 2018.