Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Freedom of the Seas”.
MIAMI/PHILIPSBURG–Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced in a press release on Monday that it has added fifteen calls to St. Maarten in 2020, potentially bringing as many as 68,000 additional guests to the island’s shores.
“Traditionally, St. Maarten experiences its peak in visitor arrivals between December and March. Between May and December, there is a reduction in those visitor arrival numbers that impacts the island’s tourism-based economy. Additional [Royal Caribbean – Ed.] guest arrivals during the May to December period help moderate the highs and lows of St. Maarten’s tourism season fluctuations,” according to the press release.
“In order to grow our partnership, we are taking the proactive step of enhancing our Eastern Caribbean itineraries by replacing a day at sea and adding a coveted visit to St. Maarten,” said Royal Caribbean’s Vice-President of Port Development Joshua Carroll.
“It’s part of our culture at Royal Caribbean to focus on continuous improvement and this extends to our relationships with destination partners. It makes perfect sense for us to embrace the win-win opportunities with additional port calls by [cruise ship] Freedom of the Seas that bring not only economic benefit to a great partner like Port St. Maarten, but also offer our guests an amazing travel destination.”
“For an innovative ship like Freedom of the Seas to expand her calls here translates into a significant investment in economic development and tourism jobs,” said Port St. Maarten senior official Roger Lawrence. “We look forward to working with Royal Caribbean as we continue to improve the port infrastructure to benefit all of our key tourism stakeholders to sustainably build on the numbers of visitors who appreciate our leisure travel offerings.
“With many of our first-time visitors, the cruise experience to St. Maarten is the window through which they are introduced to the wonders of our island with its dynamic Dutch/French Caribbean culture, its idyllic beaches and engaging tour options.
“Since Hurricane Irma [in 2017], we have made tremendous progress with our tourism infrastructure and we welcome Royal Caribbean’s renewed focus and commitment to increase the number of visits to our port. With the thousands of additional Royal Caribbean guests now projected to visit, the potential is there for them to become St. Maarten’s greatest vacation champions.”
Freedom of the Seas was part of Royal Caribbean’s Amplified Fleet programme, a US $1 billion modernisation project that will renovate 10 ships in total. Freedom of the Seas is set to debut her $116 million upgrade in March, when she starts sailing an Eastern and Southern Caribbean itinerary. Upgraded ship features include improvements to waterslides, pool areas, a restaurant, as well as transformed spaces for children and teenagers.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/royal-caribbean-adds-15-calls-to-st-maarten