Cruise Radio – After Royal Caribbean’s 2019 announcement that the cruise line would build a new Antigua Beach Club, local Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez said they would finalize plans with the cruise line by the end of 2023.
He added that the latest addition to the East Caribbean’s shoreline will cost more than the initial $100 million budget.
Boasting pink and white-sand beaches and clear blue waters, Antigua averaged a record-breaking 100,000 monthly visitors from January to March.
Speaking on the development, a local said, “More beach clubs, more jobs!”
Fernandez believes that the construction near Fort James will ramp up the region’s abilities to cater to its growing number of visitors. “Bearing in mind that we will see more passengers coming into Antigua so we need to have more areas where the visitors can go and spend the day,” he stated.
Antigua Beach Club by Royal Caribbean
In 2019, Royal Caribbean signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
Local officials hope the third addition to The Royal Beach Club Collection is for Royal Caribbean cruise ships. They hope to encourage the cruise line to make Antigua a home port for its cruise ships, including Oasis-class vessels that accommodate over 6,300 passengers.
As expected, the project will have immense benefits to the local economy. “The economic impact into our economy is projected to be approximately $80 million from direct revenue to the government over the next 30 years and over $1 billion in indirect revenue during the same period,” described Fernandez.
The new Antigua Beach Club development will take place on a beachfront area near Fort James that is around half a mile long.
Though initial estimates for the project ranged between $75 million and $100 million, Fernandez estimated that inflation in the construction industry would likely lead them to surpass the $100 million ceiling.
Specific plans have yet to be released by Royal Caribbean. At this point, we know the company plans to offer regional dishes, live music, and water activities, creating an experience that highlights “the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities.”
Fernandez also mentioned that they expect to finalize the plans before the end of the year, saying, “By the fourth quarter of this year, we should be in dialogue to finalize so that we can look to start [construction] in 2024.”