Government “Thrilled” As Cruise Ship Docks In Basseterre Today, Opportunity For Local Merchants.

File photo. Marella Voyager is going to spend a season in the sun in the Caribbean, based in Barbados.
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The Government of St. Kitts has announced that it is ‘thrilled” to  welcome the much-awaited arrival of the inaugural cruise call of the Marella Voyager,  which was due to dock at 8:00 a.m. today in Basseterre.

This eagerly anticipated event is the result of the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s work in selling St. Kitts as a desirable cruise ship destination.

Marella Voyager, “a masterpiece in naval architecture”,  according to the Ministry, boasts remarkable features and amenities that redefine luxury and comfort for its 1,832 passengers.

The ship was built in 1997, and has had several different names, including My Ship Heart (in German) but appears to have been substantially remodelled this year for its current incarnation.

The arrival of Marella Voyager, operated by TUI UK, a leading travel operator in the United Kingdom, signifies a promising partnership for St. Kitts that is could lead to an increase in cruise ship visitors to St. Kitts for some years to come.

Captain Steve James has worked for Marella Cruises for six years.

It appears that the ship will be based in Barbados for the winter cruising season and will make alternate week trips called Paradise Islands (which includes St. Kitts) and Tropical, which includes a different selction of islands.

No doubt the ship will carry a variety of nationalities of passengers, but given its British ownership (TUI AG) and marketing,  it is likely that many will fly from Europe to Barbados to board the ship, as well as passengers from the US and Canada.

The ship is expected to arrive in St. Kitts at 8:00 a.m. and depart at 18:00 on one day of the cruise.

Graphic: Screengrab from

If anyone wants more details about the ship, here they are:

Graphic: Screengrab from


Inaugural cruise calls hold immense importance for any destination, as they mark the genesis of a new era of tourism growth and development.

These events create lasting memories for visitors, but they also offer an opportunity to spread the unique attactions of St. Kitts by word of mouth and develop a reputation in an overseas market.

On behalf of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, CEO Ellison “Tommy” Thompson proudly stated, “We are honoured to welcome the inaugural cruise call of Marella Voyager to St. Kitts.

“This remarkable milestone demonstrates the major cruise lines’ confidence in the destination’s flourishing tourism industry. We remain steadfast in our commitment to bolster partnerships with various cruise lines to expand our cruise itineraries and reinforce St. Kitts’ status as a world-class destination.”

The arrival of Marella Voyager has countless benefits that will certainly leave an enduring impact on the economy and the lives of Kittitians.

Specifically, this inaugural cruise call is expended to increase onshore tourist spending,  providing a substantial increase in sales to several  local tourist-oriented businesses.

The Tourist Authority says that it hopes that all tourist-facing businesses will take advantage of the new element and make sure that the new cruise ship passengers have a good time while they are on land.

Sources: SKNIS, TUI,
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