In speaking to the Captain of the vessel on the inaugural visit, the Tourism Minister said, “We view this visit as a true sign of the confidence that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has in Antigua and Barbuda as a marquee destination capable of offering a first class experience to your cruise guests.
“We could not have thought of a more fitting way to commission the extension and improvements of our Heritage Quay Pier but to have history record that the Anthem of the Seas was the first ship to use these facilities on her inaugural voyage to our shores! So your arrival is an inaugural event – not just in terms of your visit, but for the seminal moment that it marks for our growing cruise industry overall.”
The Heritage Quay pier was extended to accommodate the large quantum class vessel. The commissioning of the extension of the pier is scheduled to take place later this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. with another event, where hundreds of Antiguans and Barbudans have been invited to share in the historic moment.
To further mark the occasion, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, has also announced that duty free shopping will be implemented throughout the Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay area in celebration of the inaugural visit.
Duty free shopping is extended to all residents without the requirement of proof of travel that normally indicates that the goods purchased are leaving the country. This will be for one day only on Friday 2nd December from 9:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m.
This inaugural event will be celebrated with major activities in the Quay well into the evening after the ship has departed.
The 4220 passengers plus 1603 crew will have a major economic impact leading into the busy Christmas shopping season.