Multiple cruise ships at berth, Port St Maarten. (Photo Credit: Mark Williams.)
It is a bumper cruise ship season for Sint Maarten as Wednesday marked the first six-ship day for the 2021 to 2022 cruise season.
Multiple cruise ships at berth, Port St Maarten. (Photo Credit: Mark Williams.)

It is a bumper cruise ship season for Sint Maarten as Wednesday marked the first six-ship day for the 2021 to 2022 cruise season.

Port St Maarten said the two cruise piers that allow for six cruise ships to berth at one time at the Dr A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility, was expected to see more than 7,500 passengers and crew disembark to explore the ‘Friendly Island.’

“It’s with great pleasure that we welcome our guests and crew with a warm St Maarten welcome. After 20-months we are able to accommodate six vessels to our piers.

“This is a great indication of the direction we are heading. To return and maintain our status as a leading destination we must continue to collaborate with our partners and offer service excellence,” Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Roger Lawrence said.

“This is once again a milestone for the destination. The #1 destination in the Northeastern Caribbean will welcome for the first time in more than 20-months six cruise ships in one day.

“This signifies our resilience and hard work by our staff and stakeholders throughout the year in preparing for the return of cruising,” Port St Maarten Group Chief Executive Officer Alexander Gumbs said on Tuesday.

Gumbs added that the Port team also worked with two cargo vessels on Wednesday. “We will capture the significant and well-timed movements via timelapse to be shared with the wider community. It is important to highlight the meticulous work Port St Maarten staff do and the extent of the full scope of the operations.

“Our team has also been in contact with local stakeholders in terms of being prepared for this influx of passengers that may seem all to new once again. It is also noticeable that the vessels occupancy percentage is also increasing as the season began around 30 per cent and now, we are seeing vessels operating above 50 per cent occupancy,” Gumbs said.

The ships that were scheduled to be in port on Wednesday were Sky Princess from Princess Cruises, AIDAluna, and AIDAdiva ships of AIDA Cruises, Marella Discovery of Marella Cruises, and Explorer of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas.