SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), working in partnership with St. Maarten port representatives, has taken a significant step in advancing its relationship with the highly rated cruise destination of St. Maarten. As an initial effort, RCL has modified its itineraries by adding 15 port visits to the island in 2020 that will increase the number of cruise arrivals there to more than 68,000 guests.
Traditionally, the St. Maarten vacation destination experiences its peak in visitor arrivals between December and March. Between May and December, there is a reduction in those visitor arrival numbers that impact the island’s tourism-based economy. Additional RCL guest arrivals during the May to December period help moderate the highs and lows of St. Maarten’s tourism season fluctuations.
“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 Vice President of Port Development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., 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 the additional port calls by Freedom of the Seas that brings 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 its calls here translates into a significant investment in economic development and tourism jobs,” said Senior Port St. Maarten Manager, 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.”
Beginning in May 2020 and running through December 2020, St. Maarten tourism officials anticipate that Royal Caribbean vacationers on the newly amplified Freedom of the Seas will have a front row seat to take advantage of its beaches, snorkel and adventure experiences.
“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,” said Lawrence. “Since Hurricane Irma, 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.”
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping following a $116 million amplification. High-energy features and guest favorites onboard include The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces.