Global Ports Holding (GPH), the world’s largest independent cruise port operator, has signed a 30-year concession agreement, with a 10-year extension option, with the St Lucia Government.
The agreement calls for cruise related operations on the island.
It marks a further significant step in the strategic ambitions of GPH in the Caribbean, reinforcing its commitment to transforming the cruise experience in the region, the company said.
As part of the concession agreement, GPH will utilise its expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in St Lucia, while investing in an expansion and upgrade programme of the cruise port’s facilities.
This will involve expanding the existing berth in Point Seraphine to allow the handling of the largest cruise ships and increase the capacity of the port.
GPH will also invest in the upgrading of the retail area at the cruise port, including the redevelopment of the Vendor’s Arcade and the design and development of a new Fishermen’s Village at Bananes Bay, to provide a new space for local trades people.
The company will also make a significant investment into upland development works at Soufriere Bay, including the development of a new amphitheatre and F&B area.
In the 12 months to 31st March, 2023, St Lucia welcomed 590,000 passengers (compared to 709,000 in 2019). The completion of the extended pier and upgrading the facilities are expected to lead to a rise in passenger volumes to over 1 mill in the medium term.
Global Ports Holding Chairman and CEO, Mehmet Kutman said: “I am delighted that the Government of St Lucia has awarded GPH the cruise port concession for St Lucia. This concession represents another significant milestone for GPH as we continue successfully growing our global cruise port network.
“The award is a further endorsement of our operating capabilities and the benefits our stakeholder partnership approach can bring to cruise destinations, passengers and the local population.
“The GPH team very much look forward to working with all stakeholders to build further on the success of this wonderful destination,” he said.