Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia to form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in Saint Lucia, and to design, construct and operate a new cruise port on the island.
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet has called the signing of the MOU “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product.”
“Saint Lucia has had record breaking cruise arrivals over the past few years and we thank our partners Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean for their continued confidence in our amazing destination,” said Prime Minister Chastanet. “It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island’s economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism and that Saint Lucians can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers; which means we have to improve our capacity. This signing is historic, as this project will have a major impact on the sustainability of the cruise sector and the reach of cruise tourism to the south of the island. This will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises. We look forward to this partnership as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of Saint Lucia and for our island as a whole.”
Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia. Under the new agreement, the joint venture would optimize the experience for guests visiting Saint Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure to support the industry’s latest ships and promote the growth of cruise tourism on the island.