St Kitts and Nevis: St Kitts and Nevis welcomed the world’s largest cruise ship- “Icon of the Seas”, on its inaugural call to Port Zante on Tuesday. The arrival of the Royal Caribbean’s vessel has created history and brought over 5, 0000 passengers.
St Kitts and Nevis became the second Caribbean country to receive a commercial visit from Icon of the Seas. A cultural show was held to display the country’s vibrant heritage to the visitors. A host of local officials were on hand to witness the historic berthing of the world’s largest cruise ship. Photos were taken from Bird Rock.
St Kitts and Nevis is the first stop on the cruise vessel’s seven-day tour of the Eastern Caribbean.
The government of St Kitts and Nevis including Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew, Tourism Minister Marsha Henderson, Deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey Hanley and Foreign Minister Denzil Douglas greeted the pilot and guests of the cruise ships.
PM Terrance Drew shared glimpses of the Icon of the Seas and said that this is very proud of the Federation. He also thanked Marsha Henderson and the Royal Caribbean for making it a reality.
He said,” Good morning. My dear people, here she comes – Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. This is a very proud moment for our Federation. Let’s all make this an epic one. Thanks to Marsh Henderson and the Ministry of Tourism for their hard work. Thanks to Royal Caribbean for partnering with us.”
Denzil Douglas also expressed pleasure and said that the vessel came to the small independent island first. He also applauded the Pilot Ludell Harvey of the Icon of the Seas into Port Zante.
He said, ”It is a big, big deal; Icon of the Seas, the World’s largest Cruise Ship, is in Basseterre, it’s first stop on its seven days cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Thanks for your hard work, Hon. Marsha.”
Marsha Henderson added that the visit marked the dedication of the tourism sector of St Kitts and Nevis towards the development. She extended gratitude to the entire team and the government for positioning the country as an ideal destination on the world stage.
St Kitts and Nevis hosted the radiant welcome event for the cruise vessel, which is the plaque exchange ceremony in celebration of Icon of Seas’ inaugural call. The guests were welcomed with a performance by Cradles Learning Centre, which made them
dance to their every beat.
Besides this, the arrival of the cruise vessel has also generated several businesses for the street and food vendors. The taxi men and tour operators at Port Zante have been given a chance to flourish their business.
They recited profound poems, and the students perfectly showcased the true essence of S Kitts and Nevis. They recited the poem named “That’s what St Kitts means to me.”
The significance of its seamless berthing at one of the only docks across the Caribbean region to be able to welcome a ship of its size is a major accomplishment. It is also a profound indication of return on investment with future opportunities to drive our economies.
The vessel has graced the allure of St Kitts and Nevis and is positioned as a global tourism hotspot with the proper showcase of the rich history and natural beauty.
The US$1.8 billion vessel set sail from Miami, Florida, last Saturday for the first time after its completion in January 2024. The next stop of the Icon of the Seas will be Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, and Coco Cay in the Bahamas.
A massive modern-day ship, Icon of the Seas, is divided into eight neighbourhoods with 20 decks. It also featured six waterslides, seven swimming pools, an ice-skating rink, a theatre and more. It has included more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges.
The ship has the capability to carry more than 7,600 passengers along with 2,350 crew members.
Netizens reacted positively
Netizens lauded St Kitts and Nevis for the arrival of the Icon of the Seas and extended greetings to the government for the historic moment. One commented,” Congratulations, hope there were enough taxi drivers to accommodate all those guest.”
Netizens also lauded Captain Harvey and said,” Congratulations to my beautiful island of St.Kitts and Nevis and to Captain Harvey straight out of St.Kitts and Nevis.”
Another commented,” Congratulations Harvey, you have been under valued for years. But God is in charge. Well done.”
One of them also said,” It was beautiful when it came into Miami a couple of weeks ago… I can’t wait to ride on this boat.”