Atigua and Barbuda welcomed P&O Cruises UK's ship Arvia for her homeporting operations with 4,500+ passengers.
The vessel, which is the 5th to berth in Antigua, was greeted Saturday morning, January 28th, with a cannon salute and is the biggest cruise ship to ever dock in Antigua at ACP/Antigua Cruise Port’s Pier 5 (St Johns).
MV Arvia (owned by Carnival Corporation and operated by its subsidiary Carnival UK via P&O) arrived at the 5th berth at 6 am and departed at 9 pm.
The 344-m boat has max capacity 6264 passengers plus 1762 staff/crew.
Arvia is homeported at St Johns's Antigua departing on Saturdays through March 11th. The itineraries are roundtrips, allowing tourists to start/end their voyage in Antigua and Barbuda.
According to Dona Regis-Prosper (ACP's General Manager), the Port's team and several of its key partners (Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Royal Police Force, Customs and Excise Division, Department of Immigration) had "worked assiduously to prepare for the relaunch of homeporting operations ahead of Arvia’s arrival."
Regis-Prosper confirmed the changes made to the port, sharing:
“Antigua Cruise Port is proud of the work that we have accomplished in a short period of time to welcome Arvia. We have installed a temporary marquee terminal equipped with check-in counters, customs clearance and immigration inspection areas, baggage scanners and an efficient passenger flow system to ensure a seamless operation. We look forward to welcoming homeporting and transit guests to Antigua.”
The turn-around operation will once again take place on February 11th & 25th and on March 11th.
In early-April 2021, ACP and P&O UK signed a deal for homeporting in St Johns the fleet's newest liner (Arvia) for winter seasons 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.
Also in 2021, ACP started two cruise port development projects - Heritage Quay Shopping Mall (US$ 2 million) and Pointe Dock (US$ 25 million, to allow berthing to even the world's largest cruise liners).
During season 2022-2023, Antigua Cruise Port handled 616419 passengers.