Antigua greeted its first cruise ship passengers since the covid pandemic started with steelpan music in St John’s on Thursday.
Tourism and health officials turned out for a special ceremony held on the pier at Heritage Quay to welcome in the luxurious Star Breeze and her hundreds of fully vaccinated passengers. The liner was greeted with a water cannon salute usually reserved for ships visiting for the first time.
Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze carried less than 300 passengers and crew for the two-day trip to Antigua, which also went to Falmouth Harbour.
Antigua’s iconic Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra played a medley of high-energy hits – from Bob Marley to Burning Flames and Boasta – as the beaming passengers waved from the upper decks. As they began to alight, singer Annia Matthews sang the national anthem and later performed a cultural presentation.
The cruise industry adds millions to local coffers each year in taxes and expenditure by those who disembark. But globally the sector became a symbol for the pandemic as it closed down worldwide.
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