Antiguan Government to meet with Carnival Cruise Lines
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne and representatives of his Government will meet with the Executives of Carnival Cruise Line to settle the current conflict between the company and his country.
This, after Carnival canceled its calls to Antigua for the next season, stating that the country does not want cruise lines there.
"The cruise industry is concerned about the cost increases outlined in the new concession agreement making Antigua uncompetitive. In addition, the rhetoric coming from the government is clearly anti-cruise and ignores the significant economic impact the industry brings to the island. We have built strong positive relationships with many Caribbean countries and would clearly prefer to support those that have supported us," Carnival said in an email to Loop.
Following a Cabinet meeting, Browne said during the meeting with his ministers, he spoke by telephone with the Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Cruiseline.
"At the end of the ten-minute engagement, it was agreed that representatives of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will meet with the CEO and Senior Executives of Carnival Cruiseline next week, at a mutually convenient location in Antigua or Miami. Until such time, the cruise line and the Government agreed to refrain from issuing press statements or making pronouncements on the subject of Carnival Cruiseline’s announcement of withdrawing vessels from the destination," he said.
The conflict with Carnival seems to stem from Antigua's agreement with Global Ports Holding (GPH) to manage the cruise port.
Even as there were reports that other cruise lines were canceling their calls to Antigua next season, Browne posted a release on Facebook stating that the agreement is receiving support from Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The release said Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and Emre Sayin, CEO of Global Ports Holding PLC (GPH) met recently in Miami to discuss GPH’s recent agreement to manage the cruise port of Antigua.
“As a company that is focused on delivering a high-quality product to discerning guests, we are pleased to learn of GPH’s intention to invest in Antigua’s tourism infrastructure to improve the guest experience. We are thrilled that GPH has made this financial commitment to Antigua and are excited to move forward together to grow the cruise business to this beautiful island," Frank Del Rio said.