PORT ST. MAARTEN – For the second time this week, destination St. Maarten has received another new cruise ship, the Anthem of the Seas on her inaugural visit.
A delegation from the Government of Sint Maarten headed by Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Ernest Sams along with Port St. Maarten Chief Financial Officer Ton van Kooten and Governmental General Affairs Hector Peters, exchanged plaques with Captain Claus Andersen on Wednesday morning. The port delegation also included Supervisory Board members Renald Williams and Jason Rogers.
Captain Andersen told the gathering at the welcome ceremony that Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) is here to stay. The Captain added that he was here when the Quantum of the Seas made its inaugural visit and before that he visited the destination in 2008 with the Adventure of the Seas.
Captain Claus Andersen added that St. Maarten as a cruise destination had twice the amount of guests on tours when compared to the other destinations that the ship visits; he also looked forward to a continued fruitful relationship; and concluded that St. Maarten was an iconic destination in the entire Caribbean.
Minister Sams during the customary exchange of plaques welcomed Captain Andersen, his crew and passengers to St. Maarten, and looked forward to many more visits with the new vessel which is only seven months old. Peters, Port St. Maarten’s Governmental General Affairs official, also welcomed Captain Andersen and Anthem of the Seas, and offered similar sentiments of a fruitful long-term relationship.
Anthem of the Seas is part of RCL Quantum class, and is the second ship that is now sailing through the Caribbean. The first ship of this class is Quantum of the Seas. Construction of a third vessel, Ovation of the Seas, is currently taking place and is set to sail in fall 2016 while a fourth ship is scheduled for delivery in 2019. RCL announced on November 3 that it has entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft to order a fifth Quantum class ship for delivery in fall of 2020.
Anthem of the Seas has been described as the world’s most revolutionary cruise ship, and the next great adventure. Unprecedented innovations in ship design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology, multidimensional entertainment and robust, flexible dining opportunities come together onboard Anthem to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience found only on Royal Caribbean.
Anthem of the Seas maiden voyage took place on April 22. The vessel carries 4,905 guests and 1,500 crew, and has been described as RCLs most innovative ship.
The cruise ship sailed into New York harbor early November, and will be homeporting out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Anthem of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 168,666; is 1,141 feet in length; max beam is 134 feet; 16 guest decks and 18 decks total; draft 28 feet and a cruising speed of 22 knots. The vessel was built at the Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany, and is registered in Nassau, Bahamas.
Anthem of the Seas is sailing to The Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Barbados, Martinique, and St. Maarten. Itineraries vary from seven to twelve night sailings.
Staff from Minister Sams cabinet were also present along with other officials from Port St. Maarten to welcome Anthem of the Seas to the destination on Wednesday.
PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: Ton van Kooten, Hector Peters, Minister Ernest Sams and Captain Claus Andersen.