St Vincent and the Grenadines is planning for an expanded cruise facility. The island chain was projecting an estimated 294,000 passengers on 235 sailings in the 2019-2020 season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year they welcomed 239,000 passengers on 272 sailings. Cruise officials predict 293 calls in 2020-2021.
The primary port, Kingstown, received 89 of this season’s calls, followed by Bequia island with 56 calls and Mayreau with 52. The Tobago Cays and Union Island combined for 39 calls.
A port modernisation project is scheduled to begin by the end of this year. Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank through the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund, construction of a new cargo port will come first. The second phase includes construction of an inter-island and regional port. Both phases are estimated to take two-and-a-half years to complete. Developers have stressed the work will be climate resilient.
Work on the Chateaubeliar Wharf located in the north-western part of the island is also ongoing. The $1.8 million-dollar project is funded by the World Bank and will bring the wharf up to international standards. Construction of a new tender jetty, a low landing platform and accommodation for yachts are included in the project.
The horrific killing of George Floyd, an African American man who died from asphyxiation after a white police officer consistently pressed on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, has been the catalyst for putting the concerns.