Carnival Cruise Line Cancels All Calls to Caribbean Port

carnival cruise line antigua caribbean port
Antigua is known for its rum and lush landscapes. - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has canceled all upcoming calls to the island of Antigua, according to the president of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, Nathan Dundas.

Carnival Pride, Breeze, Magic, and Legend were all scheduled to call at the northeastern Caribbean island during the upcoming November 2019 to 2020 season, but will now be going to other ports. No official reason has been offered by Carnival, but the announcement comes on the heels of Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne accusing the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association of exploiting the region for lower visitor tax rates. "So you will charge, for example, thousands of dollars for your visitors to the Caribbean – and I know that the cruise business is capital intensive – but when you are giving these countries five or six dollars per head this cannot cover the capital costs for the infrastructure," he said last month. 

Dundas fears that other Carnival Corporation brands will soon follow suit, and that Antigua could end up being skipped by Princess, Holland America, Seabourn, and other cruise lines. “I am afraid that we may see more cancellations and it is indeed cause for concern as these cancellations will impact everyone business from Store Owners to Tour Operators and bars and restaurants etc.” During the upcoming season, the Carnival ships were expected to bring over 200,000 visitors to the island.

In February, the Antigua and Barbuda government signed a $80 million agreement with Global Ports Holding to manage the St. John’s cruise port for 30 years. Global Ports Holding will also finance the construction of a new port area and new pier that will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class.

Information: Nation NewsAntigua News Room, and Antigua Observer

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