I would like to start by very warmly welcoming Princess Cruises’ MS Regal Princess and all her wonderful crew and guests to Antigua on behalf of the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda.
It is a real honor and pleasure to receive the MS Regal Princess as one of the world’s largest cruise ships for the very first time to St. John’s Port. The people of Antigua and Barbuda are welcoming you with open arms and warm hearts.
We would like to thank you for the confidence you have placed in us as a destination and we promise that your over 3,000 guests will have an unforgettable experience.
Your arrival is incredibly important for Antigua’s economy, so please know we will be taking the utmost care of your passengers as well as your vessel. Succinctly put: tourism is imperative to the success of Antigua and Barbuda and your guests are important part of the equation, and we know it is our duty to provide you and your guests a stay that is above and beyond the caliber of what you expect.
As part of our promise to improve services on island, our government has delivered on a major promise to tourism partners by signing a $200 million agreement to modernize our St. John’s port and harbor to ensure we’re providing the most desirable product possible to visitors and residents. We aim to become the port-of-call of choice for those travelling to the Caribbean from around the world.
A total transformation of the port facilities and downtown St. John’s will ensure that our main gateway the cruise tourism industry is the ultimate leader in the Caribbean.
This development will include world-class casinos, cafes and restaurants, hotels, condominiums, and high-end designer shops. It will be difficult to match the Regal Princess, but we will try. We have already begun the process, having completed the full dredging of St. John’s harbor.
So facilities and plans are well in place to offer a first class regal service not just our guests, but your crew as well.
All of this is to say, we hope you enjoy your time with us today in Antigua, and that you will have the opportunity to appreciate our beauty, culture and warmth and that this is only the first of many calls of this spectacular vessel to our shores!