KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES — Just how important is Aug. 7 to St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Very, as it marks the start of its peak tourism season, with the arrival of the destination’s first cruise ship since the start of the pandemic.
The Seabourn Odyssey is scheduled to dock in Port Elizabeth, Bequia that day, the first of 224 cruise ships expected to call at various ports throughout the destination in the upcoming months. However, according to Minister of Tourism Carlos James, this number may change due to the fluid nature of the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference on July 27, Minister James confirmed that all cruise calls will operate in bubbles with fully vaccinated service providers. He added that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is “delighted” to welcome its very first vessel since 2020 and noted that 14 of the scheduled cruise calls will be inaugural calls to the destination.
Air Canada, which has been operating an SVG route since 2017, will resume flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 1, 2021, after suspending its service when the Canadian borders closed due to the pandemic. American Airlines will also resume its mid-week service on Oct. 13 from Miami, while Virgin Atlantic will commence nonstop flights from London Heathrow on Oct. 15, 2021, the first flight from Europe to Argyle International Airport.
In preparation of the season, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has implemented several protocols for arriving passengers, including Tourism Approved ‘Safe Zones’ that are serviced by fully vaccinated tourism service providers. All fully vaccinated visitors arriving by air will only be required to quarantine for 48 hours in a Tourism Approved property, while quarantine periods for unvaccinated visitors range from 7-21 days, depending on the origin of the traveller.
For more information on entry protocols and Tourism Approved accommodations, go to www.gov.vc.