LONDON — Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, a UK-based company, announced that the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis will be a port of call in its 2021/2022 itinerary. The fleet, which averages 1,000 passengers a ship, will dock at St Kitts’ Port Zante as part of its Winter Sunshine Program.
Supported by the islands’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, Port Zante was upgraded last year to increase vessel capacity and can now host up to three world-class vessels simultaneously.
Fred. Olsen also held a virtual tour where more than 50,000 future visitors could see the different ports scheduled, including St Kitts. The nation recently announced that it would be opening its international borders in October after registering only 17 cases and zero deaths. In preparation for the reopening, 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders will be trained.
Lindsay Grant, the Minister of Tourism, highlighted the importance of the collaboration between the islands and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines: “This is a clear indication that our island’s attractions, tours and services offer significant appeal to cruise visitors,” Minister Grant said. “Now, more than ever, as we get ready to reopen tourism, it is critical that we continue to work together to maintain our physical product standards and to ensure health and safety protocols are adhered to by all tourism stakeholders, to provide a premier guest experience.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, St Kitts and Nevis’ cruise sector saw an increase in visitors with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association naming it as a marquee destination. The dual-islands’ also reached the milestone of one million cruise passengers for the second year in a row in 2019. St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme partly sponsored the expansion of the Port Zante.
Fred. Olsen originated in Hvitsten, a small town on the shores of Oslofjord, Norway, in 1848 when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company. Over 150 years later, and now into the fifth generation of the family, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines operate cruises from the UK and inspirational fly-cruises aboard four smaller, intimately-sized ocean-going ships, as well as European River Cruises aboard a dedicated river cruise ship, and sail to some of the world’s greatest and most authentic destinations to provide guests with simply unforgettable holiday experiences.
Alongside Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the Fred. Olsen group also operate a variety of other companies, including Fred. Olsen Travel and Fred. Olsen Express ferries in the Canary Islands, and has interests in the luxury hotel, aviation, estate management, electronics and offshore energy industries. Fred. Olsen offices are spread throughout the globe, although the group’s main headquarters remain firmly in the family’s hands in Oslo and Tenerife. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is based in Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk, England.