With the Caribbean cruise business continuing to grow, with more and more ships holding more passengers than some of the ports they visit, there's opportunity for less-visited destinations to expand facilities and grab more of the crowd. Latest up: the island of Saint Lucia.
The island's government last week signed a deal with two of the largest cruise companies, Carnival and Royal Caribbean to build a new cruise port on the island's southern side at Vieux Fort, suitable for mega-ships, as well as run the country's existing port at Castries. The two companies will form a joint venture for the project.
The two companies, with their various brands, account for about 75% of all cruise visits to Saint Lucia and a very large proportion of the cruise business as a whole. With new ships arriving each year, cruises to the Caribbean and South America are expected to be up by about 40% over the next decade. That's helping drive the development of new ports and more private islands.