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St. Vincent Cruise

Destination for an exclusive European cruise market

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines may not see the volume of cruise passengers received by its neighbours to the east and north, but it hosts a number of boutique cruise lines, mainly out of Europe.

This destination is enjoying a 27% increase in cruise ship calls and has seen its cruise passenger traffic grow by 5% in the past year. Last cruise season (2012-2013) the country had 203 cruise calls, receiving over 83,000 high-end visitors.

An awesomely beautiful string of islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines welcomes mainly European cruise passengers brought by P&O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, TUI Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Star Clippers and Saga Cruises. They experience a gorgeous destination and a capital town steeped in history.

Fort Charlotte, which stands guard over St. Vincent’s capital, Kingstown, was completed in 1796. To put this in context, that was the year in which the first elephant set foot on American soil, or so we are told, having been brought from India. There is no evidence that the first US President, George Washington, who was still in office, met the touring pachyderm; nor that it was brought to participate in the USA’s very first 4th July Independence Day celebrations. However, even as the British put the finishing touches to their Fort Charlotte garrison on the hill overlooking Kingstown, the last of their troops, whipped and defeated, were busy withdrawing from American soil.

St. Vincent is full of history. Indeed, Kingstown’s famous Botanical Gardens are said to be the oldest in the western hemisphere and cruise ship visitors enjoy its lush verdancy all through the year.

St. Vincent’s Kingstown Cruise Terminal, only a few minutes’ drive from the heart of the capital, has deepwater berths that can accommodate two ships.

Purpose-built

The North Berth can accept cruise ships up to 300 metres in length and 120,000 gross registered tons (grt). The South Berth can dock vessels up to 100 metres in length overall and 40,000 grt. The terminal also has a purpose-built landing stage for cruise passengers arriving by tender.

Managed by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority, the purpose-built terminal contains a full range of services including a tourist information bureau, two dozen retail shops, a food court, rest rooms, public telephone facilities and internet access. Beyond the cruise terminal building there is a pick-up and set down area for both land and water taxis and there is parking for tour buses.

‘Must see’ places for cruise visitors include the Falls of Baleine, Dark View Falls and Mesopotamia Valley. All these sights are reachable in a day trip. 

The Grenadines chain of islands, part of this English-speaking sovereign Caribbean state, stretches south for about 48 miles. These are among the most beautiful, unspoilt coral islands in the Caribbean and part of the reason why St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the most popular cruise destinations for an exclusive European market.