St. John’s under major development
2017, March 1: Antigua and Barbuda is engaged in major improvement and expansion of the country’s cruise port facilities. Last year (2016) implementation of a development project for the existing cruise facilities and downtown space got underway. Reports are that spending on the transformational programme is already at some USD50 million, including improvements to St. John’s harbour and the lengthening and strengthening of Heritage Pier to allow for the berthing of larger ships. With this work completed, the Anthem of the Seas docked in Antigua on December 2. It was the largest ship ever to dock in Antigua.
The master plan for development calls for further dredging of the approach channel and turning area; the creation of a fifth berth; and, land reclamation to help with major improvements to pedestrian and vehicle flows, town aesthetics, tour operations, and shopping.
In January, Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Asot A. Michael, went to Florida to discuss the development plans with major cruise lines. He took a delegation including cruise-sector advisor, Ricky Skerritt, Tourism Authority Board member Nathan Dundas, Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority CEO Darwin Telemaque; and, representatives of the BEA-Meridian design and construction team, responsible for designing and constructing the master plan.
The delegation met with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Holland America, Seabourn and Princess over the course of three days and revealed their master plan with components including a beach-focused island style destination in Barbuda for cruise ships. The plan also includes further dredging of the approach channel and turning area in St. John’s harbour; the creation of a fifth berth; and, land reclamation to facilitate improvements to pedestrian and vehicle flows, town aesthetics, tour operations and shopping.