The honourable Deputy Premier, Delmaude Ryan, on Friday welcomed the captain, crew and passengers of Crystal Esprit on their first official call to Montserrat.
According to a press statement from the Office of the Premier, the award-winning cruise ship called at Port Little Bay with 41 passengers and 88 crew members on board. Today’s visit is the first of two calls planned for the winter season. The next visit is scheduled for early January 2018.
During her welcoming remarks, Minister Ryan expressed her desire to see future visits from Crystal Esprit. She stated that although the visits will be short this season, the shared pleasant experiences by the visitors and crew, will serve to encourage those responsible for planning the trips to see the opportunities and uniqueness of Montserrat for future voyages.
The Deputy Premier also highlighted the impact of the Soufriere Hills Volcano as an attraction for the visitors. Mrs. Ryan said, “Even though we have been set back, we are still able to persevere through all the challenges, and so the same volcano that was part of our set back is actually part of our come back.” She further noted that visitors are often interested in seeing the Plymouth area as it is the only place in the Caribbean where you can come and see a Town gradually being buried,” stated the Deputy Premier.
Captain Jan Gustaf Rautawaara in his remarks described the island as a gem. He said, “very nice to be in Montserrat, it is one of the islands that people usually do not come to very much, and it’s like a hidden small gem.”
Captain Rautawaara explained that the Crystal Esprit visited Montserrat in November 2017Â with only the crew and office personnel. The visit then, he said, was to allow them to familiarise themselves with the island and to ensure they know what to show the passengers and where to take them.
He also stated that there is a possibility that the ship will be in the Caribbean in the next season and if so, he is certain Crystal Esprit will come here sometime after their January 2018 scheduled visit.
Following the remarks, the Deputy Premier presented a plaque to the Captain on behalf of the Government and people of Montserrat. Captain Rautawaara in return, presented two plaques to the Government and people of Montserrat.
Minister Ryan was accompanied onboard the ship by the Director of External Affairs, Debra Lewis; Director of Information and Communication, Viona Alexander-Smith; Product Development Officer in the Tourism Division, Rosetta West Gerald and two representatives from a local costume troupe.
Crystal Esprit caters to the luxury cruise market and includes 31 suites. The ship can accommodate 62 passengers and its features include, one evening restaurant, a lunch and breakfast venue, an outside deck with a pool, a small spa, a medical centre and a gym.