Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world’s two largest cruise companies by passenger capacity, have announced they’re teaming up to build a new cruise pier in St Lucia.
The joint venture company will design, build and operate the new cruise pier at the popular eastern Caribbean tourist destination, in addition to the existing facility that all cruise ships visiting the island use.
In a statement, Carnival Cruise Line said that the new cruise pier would support sustainable cruise tourism growth for the island, which is renowned for its beauty and culture.
“We look forward to working closely with our JV partners to give cruise passengers great experiences when visiting the island. With the new development project, Saint Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President of Global Port and Destination Development for Carnival Corporation.
The new pier will be located at the Port of Castries, but the actual structure will be built at Vieux Fort on the southern part of the Caribbean island.
In a statement, the two companies said it would be able to accommodate “the latest and most innovative cruise ships”, suggesting Carnival’s new Excel-class mega-ships and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class will be visiting in future.
“The cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40%,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean.
“We are excited to partner with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean,” he added.
The cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia.
Carnival Corporation controls around 39.4% of the global cruise market revenue and owns and operates 11 cruise line brands, while Royal Caribbean accounts for 20.2% and owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, along with shares in four others.
This isn’t the first time the cruise industry’s two heavyweights have worked together rather than competing.
In 2000, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd, and Grand Bahama Port Authority founded the Grand Bahama Shipyard, which carries out dry-docking, afloat repairs, refurbishments refits and revitalizations for cruise and merchant vessels.