Cruise Port On This Small Caribbean Island Is Breaking Arrival Records In 2024

Cruise Port On This Small Caribbean Island Is Breaking Arrival Records In 2024

The tropical island of Antigua has just broken its own cruise passenger record with half a million travelers so far in 2024.

Located in St. John’s harbor, Antigua Cruise Port has had 255 ship calls with 105,281 more passengers than in the first semester of 2023, becoming one of the fastest-growing ports in the region.

This is the only port in the country with the berthing capacity to accommodate massive international vessels. Tourist and cargo ships make up the main traffic, as the island’s economy mostly relies on tourism.

These current passenger figures are “extremely exciting for us,” said Cynthia Jacobs-Browne, officer-in-charge at the Antigua Cruise Port.

Summer bookings are also on the rise, “we are on track for a record-breaking year, and we could not be prouder of our team and our success at this point,” reaffirmed Jacobs-Browne.

Other Caribbean Countries Seeing Record-breaking Cruise Passenger Numbers

Out of the 31.7 million tourists who booked a cruise trip in 2023 in the world, over 44% headed to the Caribbean, according to the CLIA’s 2024 State of the Cruise Industry report. 

Countries like Bermuda and the Bahamas received one more million cruisers when comparing 2023 to 2019. Bahamas has increased 40% compared to pre-pandemic levels, while Barbados forecasts a rise of up to 200,000 cruise travelers by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Jamaica is probably the country setting the most records in tourism in the Caribbean in 2024. Authorities expect to host over 400,000 cruise travelers this year, said Edmund Bartlett, the country’s tourism minister.

Another country experiencing a spike in cruise visitors is Mexico with its island of Cozumel, a well-known cruise ship port of call that has received nearly a million passengers in the first two months of the year, an increase of 22% compared to the same time frame in 2023.

This port, in particular, is the fourth most visited on the planet, with over 2 million passengers per year.

We cannot forget Curacao, which is expected to host 13% more travelers than in 2023. 

“Cruise continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most resilient sectors of tourism— rebounding [from the pandemic] faster than international tourist arrivals—and a strong contributor to local and national economies,” reported Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president and chief executive officer.