September 14 will be a "banner day" when St. Kitts and Nevis welcomes the Celebrity Equinox back to Port Zante, the local tourism authority says.
“We are excited to welcome our first ship from the Royal Caribbean Group as a highlight of our phased approach to rebuilding cruise,” said Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports of St. Kitts and Nevis. “St. Kitts achieved Marquee Port status after reaching the one million passenger mark in two cruise seasons in a row, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 and Royal Caribbean played an instrumental role in this achievement. St. Kitts and Nevis remains in high demand as a port, renowned for our unique tours complemented by an excellent experience that cannot be replicated."
"We look forward to the next call of the Celebrity Equinox on October 3, 2021, and continuing to rebuild towards our preeminent cruise position in the region."
The minimum protocols for any cruise ship visiting in St. Kitts & Nevis include:
- All cruise passengers age 12 and older must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with a World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine in order for the ship to be allowed entry to the port. Emergency contractors required for critical ship maintenance can be exempted of the vaccination requirement as well as any medical / religious exemptions granted pursuant to applicable law (i.e., US law). This requirement will be in effect until December 31, 2021.
- Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a single dose in a one-dose series (only Johnson and Johnson vaccine in this instance) or last dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac).
- All fully vaccinated passengers age 12 and older must submit a negative RT PCR test or Antigen test approved by the WHO 72 hours/3 days before embarkation of vessel at homeport at the beginning of the cruise.
- Unvaccinated passengers over the age of 12 must submit a negative RT PCR test 72 hours/ days within embarkation of vessel at homeport at the beginning of the cruise.
- Unvaccinated passengers must be tested by the cruise line at the terminal on the day of embarkation at homeport before the beginning of the cruise using a RT PCR test to confirm a negative COVID - 19 status.
- 95 per cent of all crew onboard the vessel must be fully vaccinated as per CDC guidelines. All crew servicing guests onboard the vessel must be fully vaccinated.
- Self-samples, or unsupervised (not administered by approved medical professional) home test kits, and test with oral swabs, and RT PCR test with oral swabs will be considered invalid.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are not to board the vessel.
“The first Celebrity Cruise arrival for the 2021 season is certainly an occasion for celebration,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “The safety of our nationals, residents and visitors has always been our top priority and we have worked closely with stakeholders to establish bubble tours that will allow cruise ship passengers to enjoy our one-of-a-kind and awe-inspiring experiences, such as a visit to Brimstone Hill National Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or a scenic ride around the island on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway."
"Visitors are captivated by the beauty of the view from Timothy Hill and Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor continues to provide visitors an introduction into the ancient art of wax-resist dyeing to make vibrant batiks. We are a destination brimming with activities waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.”
The Celebrity Equinox left Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 5 on a 13-day itinerary that includes St. Croix, Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Maarten and St. Kitts and returns to Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 17.