Cruise lines help St. Lucia get back on track, says PM

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King receives bottled water from Captain John Scott of Holland America's Noordam. At left is the Prime Minister's wife Rosalia King.

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – Cruise liners which sailed in support of Saint Lucia’s communities affected by Hurricane Tomas were thanked by the island’s Prime Minister yesterday.

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and its member lines quickly restored cruise business in the wake of the October 30 hurricane and also shipped in humanitarian assistance for affected Saint Lucians.

Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Stephenson King, thanking the Florida-based trade organization for its support of Saint Lucia’s cruise visitor industry, pointed out, “the quick action by the cruise lines was of enormous help for us and underscored the huge value of tourism to our recovery efforts.”

About two-thirds of Saint Lucia’s attractions have re-opened, and this past Sunday, November 7, both Holland America’s Noordam and P & O Oceana brought thousands of passengers who were able to experience some of them, including Lucian Life, Zip Lining in the Saint Lucian Rainforest; and sail catamarans to the popular Marigot Bay as well as visit some of the island’s famous beaches. Saint Lucia’s taxi drivers and vendors were also elated with the return of visitors to the island.

P & O Oceana Captain Mark Symonds presents food supplies to Red Cross Chairman Kenneth Monplaisir (centre) and Prime Minister Stephenson King accompanied by wife Rosalia King. From left is Senator Allen Chastanet, Minister Tourism and Civil Aviation, and Guy Joseph, Minister of Communications and Works.

The passengers were cheered by the knowledge the vessels they sailed to Saint Lucia also brought 200 tonnes of water along with clothing, food, furniture, mattresses, sheets and blankets which were distributed to needy communities by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Saint Lucia Red Cross.

“We are grateful to our cruise partners for their kindness, and thanks to the disaster preparedness of some of Saint Lucia’s larger hotels, not only were they able to supply their own guests with safe water, but they were also able to share their stored, purified and desalinated water with surrounding communities,” reported Guy Joseph, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Communications and Works.

More cruise ships would continue to bring helpful passengers as well as assistance to Saint Lucia in the weeks ahead.

And in the air, tourism got a kick-start over the weekend with the arrival of JetBlue Airways, American Airlines/American Eagle, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, among other carriers.

The international and regional carriers landed easily at both Hewanorra International Airport and George F.L. Charles Airport.

“Tourism is our lifeblood, and we are grateful to our regional and international partners for the confidence they have placed in Saint Lucia. By returning so quickly, they are assisting the nation recover in the aftermath of the storm,” asserted Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Senator Allen Chastanet.

For further information, please contact the nearest Saint Lucia Tourist Board office: Head Office: 1 758 452-4094; UK:  207 341-7002; USA: 1 800 456-3984 and Canada: 1 800 869-0377.

About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties.

For more information, visit www.saintlucianow.com.

ENDS

Leave a Reply