Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises have signed an agreement to construct a new cruise terminal on the island and manage its existing facility.
The cruise giants signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saint Lucian government on Tuesday to form a joint venture for the project.
The cruise line brands account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to the island.
The joint venture will manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries and design, finance, build and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island.
Prime minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet said the agreement marked “a major step towards enhancing” the country’s tourism offering.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation said: “This is an exciting day for our guests who already love the beauty and deep culture of Saint Lucia and an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island.”
Michael Bayley, president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean International said the cruise market is the fastest-growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean is anticipated to grow by 40%.