Pantophlet and Mingo meet with MSC

POSTED: 11/20/12 1:53 PM

St. Maarten – Minister Pantophlet and Harbor CEO Mark Mingo were on a European trip to discuss the further strategic development with MSC as their new larger vessels are coming online this season with the Divina. For the upcoming season, MSC will increase its call to a minimum 21 calls which is about 51,000 passengers up from 10,000 passengers in in the last season.

Smaller cruise lines such as MSC, Disney and NCL play an important part in the mix of cruise lines coming to the island.

The St. Thomas itinerary planning affects St. Maarten’s growth potential. They are looking at alternatives to offer the smaller cruise lines which have also have become larger players in the industry. There was also a very strong demand for 14-day cruises from the European markets. Miami and Martinique will be used as homeports for 2013 season. There is much potential for the tourists from Martinique and Guadeloupe especially as they are looking for the shopping experience.

Fueling is also an opportunity discussed. MSC will be bunkering in St. Maarten for the season. MSC has growth plans for the Caribbean. Being the fourth largest cruise line, the company wants to be present among lines like Carnival Corp, RCCL, and NCL.

MSC Corporate Operating Officer Neil Palomba stated that ”St. Maarten has always been a key destination and the ratings were high. However product enhancement must take place.” He added.

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