Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that it intends to cancel all calls to the port in Antigua. Currently, four different ships have scheduled visits to this Southern Caribbean port starting in November 2019, including the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend and Carnival Pride. This cancellation comes as a surprise to many and will affect passengers currently booked for cruises on these ships.
This sudden cancellation has led many to question why this change in scheduling has been made. An official statement from Carnival has been released indicating that Antigua government officials have made statements to the effect that they do not want cruise lines to visit the port in the future. As a result, Carnival has cancelled upcoming stops at this port and is rescheduling stops to locations that will be more accommodating and welcoming to their guests. The official statement is as follows:
“Government officials in Antigua have taken steps which indicate they don’t want cruise lines and our guests to visit so for the time being we are focusing our itineraries on the destinations that are more welcoming.”
Nathan Dundas, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association (ABCTA), has expressed concerns that the cancellation of ship visits to the port will negatively impact area businesses. It is estimated that 250,000 cruise guests were expected to be on board these ships.
Despite the fact that Carnival has released an official statement regarding its reason for the cancellation, many wonder whether the recent discussions between the island and Global Ports Holding with respect to expanding the Antigua cruise port could be behind the cancellation.
The number of crimes targeting cruise passengers in and around the Antigua port has also been increasing. The portion of the statement indicating that they would be redirecting the ships to locations that are “more welcoming” to their guests could support this fact.
Passengers who have already booked Carnival cruise tickets to Antigua through the year 2020 have received written communication from the company regarding the itinerary change. Potential destinations to replace Antigua in the Caribbean voyage include Tortola and St. Kitts. However, no decisions have been made yet. If a guest has booked an on-shore excursion already at the Antigua port, he or she will receive a full refund.
This story is, of course, ongoing, and more information will be available in the upcoming weeks and months as to what the company will decide to do to finalize their trip itineraries.
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Related Resource: https://www.cruisehive.com/carnival-cruise-ships-to-stop-sailing-to-caribbean-port/30177