On November 11, 2021, Britannia Cruise Line, with a capacity of over 4,000 passengers, became the first cruise call to return to Port Kingstown, St. Vincent and The Grenadines since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Britannia is a cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet which officially entered service on March 14, 2015 and was named by Queen Elizabeth II. It is a family-friendly ship which sails the Mediterranean during the summer months and traverses the Caribbean isles during the winter.
Cruise Season Heating up for SVG
Britannia is one of an expected 224 calls cruise ships are expected to make in St. Vincent and The Grenadines (SVG) during the 2021 cruise season. Thirteen inaugural calls and 23 same-day and port calls are scheduled to visit the destination.
Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture, Carlos James stated “The 2021 cruise season provides an opportunity for increased economic activity. Already we have over 200 expected cruise calls this season. This is significant in such a volatile time, especially, when compared to no cruise calls during the last cruise season”.
Passengers who disembarked Britannia were part of an organised, pre-booked ‘bubble’ where they were restricted to selected locations on island and their interactions were limited to only vaccinated service providers. The bubble has been established to ensure that cruise lines abide by the prevailing precautionary measures outlined in the Cruise Tourism Protocols.
The Cruise Tourism Protocols were established by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment for cruise lines visiting the destination. In keeping with protocols the bubble ensures that participating tour operators operate at a 75% capacity and they too must be fully vaccinated.
Current Travel Protocols for Cruise Lines
Travelers wishing to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines should ensure they are aware of Current Travel Protocols prior to booking.
Presently, all travellers to St. Vincent and the Grenadines MUST arrive with a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR COVID-19 test done no more than seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days prior to arrival. Additionally:
- may be retested for COVID-19 on arrival at the discretion of the Port Health Officer.
- may undergo mandatory quarantine for forty-eight hours (48) hours in a Tourism Authority/MOHWE approved Transition/Quarantine Hotel/Property at their cost at the discretion of a Public Health Officer (medium to high risk countries of origin)
- No quarantine if no evidence of onboard vessel exposure and not in a high-risk occupation. (low risk countries of origin)
- Must quarantine for varying durations and locations at their own cost based on risk level of country of origin and
- must arrive with proof of the fully paid reservation (high to very high risk countries of origin only)
Full details on travel protocols can be obtained from The Ministry of Health, Wellness and The Environment.