(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – The president of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association (ABCTA) Nathan Dundas said yesterday that more cruise lines have cancelled their scheduled calls to Antigua and Barbuda.
In an email obtained by OBSERVER media yesterday, Dundas told cruise stakeholders that 14 cruise calls previously scheduled for Antigua and Barbuda for the upcoming winter season have been cancelled.
According to the email, the cruise lines Holland America and Seabourn have decided to withdraw the Seabourn Odyssey, the Seabourn Sojourn, the Volendam and the Konigsdam, which were expected to bring visitors to the island between November 2019 and April 2020.
The itineraries were listed in the email as follows: Seabourn Odyssey, November 19th, 2019; Volendam, November 15th, 2019; Seabourn Odyssey, November 28th, 2019; Konigsdam, December 11th, 2019; Seabourn Odyssey, December 12th, 2019; Seabourn Sojourn, December 23rd, 2019; and Seabourn Odyssey, December 24th, 2019.
Also, the Seabourn Odyssey was expected to visit Antigua and Barbuda twice per month for the first three months of the ew year, 2020, while the Volendam was expected to call on April 1st, 2020.
This recent development followed reports two days ago that Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled its scheduled calls to Antigua and Barbuda.
American news media FOX News reported yesterday that the representatives for Carnival Cruise Lines informed them that the rationale behind the decision was that government officials had made the cruise line feel unwelcome.
According to the news report, the representatives said, “Government officials in Antigua have taken steps which indicate they do not want [the] cruise lines and our guests to visit, so for the time being we are focusing our itineraries on the destinations that are more welcoming.”
Meanwhile, requests for comments from Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Tourism Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez and Political Leader of United Progressive Party, Harold Lovell, at the time of this reporting, have proven futile.
OBSERVER media also reached out to Holland America Lines and Seabourn Cruise Lines, but was unable to get an official statement at the time.