The Hon. Ricky Skerritt, Minister of State for Tourism & International Transport, announced to the National House of Assembly of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis that Royal Caribbean International (RCI) will be deploying their 2,100 berth "Jewel of the Seas" to St. Kitts starting in May 2013 for three port calls each month through the summer season and into October 2013. This now gives the St. Kitts economy two large summer ships for the summer of 2013, the "Jewel of the Seas" and the "Carnival Valor" (2,974 berths) of Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) which will replace the slightly smaller"Carnival Victory" in February 2013. Carnival has deployed a weekly summer ship to St. Kitts for five seasons, to the great benefit of the Federation's economy. All of the tourist businesses in St. Kitts - including the Scenic Railway - are very happy to hear this wonderful news from RCI. This additional ship will bring another 33,800 cruise passengers to the Federation during the summer of 2013, and be a big boost to our cruise tourism in the dull season. Our sincere thanks to Minister Skerritt for his hard work in bringing this summer business into being, and to both RCI and Carnival for offering St. Kitts to their guests as a summer cruise destination.
It's May 1st, 2012, and we wanted to start the month announcing to one and all that this year marks the 100 Year Anniversary of the first St. Kitts "Sugar Train". According to the late Jim Horsford in his 2004 book "The St. Kitts Railway", construction of the 30-inch gauge industrial rail line from the Factory Pier to the St. Kitts Basseterre Sugar Factory - with a "West Line" branch running out 4 miles to Trinity (Palmetto Point) and another "North Line" branch running out to Bourryeau Estate (Mills's) - was finished on February 28, 1912. It was celebrated with a "special train" that operated for invited dignitaries. A photograph of this "first passenger train" to ever run in St. Kitts fortunately survives today in the National Museum collection in the Old Treasury Building. So, as the Scenic Railway trains run back and forth over the line this summer, St. Kitts can boast a full century of railroading in the West Indies