PORT ST. MAARTEN – Seabourn pioneered small-ship, ultra-luxury cruising, and continues to represent the pinnacle of that unique style of travel. On Saturday, March 11, Seabourn, one of the port’s cruise partners that played a role in the design and layout of the new Homeporting Terminal, arrived with the Seabourn Odyssey to as part of its cruise offerings this Caribbean cruise season.
Seabourn Odyssey carries 458 passengers, and this was the first time that the cruise line is using this vessel to embark and disembark guests here. Seabourn has a history with Port St. Maarten which dates back to the company’s roots with earlier ships that carried 208 passengers.
Based on various homeporting case studies, Port St. Maarten has been ranked as one of the top cruise port destinations in the Caribbean where quality of facilities are concerned.
On Saturday, March 11 Seabourn Odyssey Captain Stig Betten was welcomed to Sint Maarten by Port St. Maarten Management representative Hector Peters. Peters thanked Seabourn for its continued interests in Sint Maarten on behalf of the Government and Port Management. Peters added that the destination now offered a state-of-the-art homeporting facility and he looked forward to them possibly returning in the future.
Betten, who has been coming to the destination since 1999, says the island has very nice beaches and great shopping, which are attractive for guests. He also added that the island has a sheltered port which makes boarding and disembarking of passengers seamless thereby making it a great port for cruise operations.
Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Telecommunications and Transport Rafael Boasman, was represented by Senior Policy advisors Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher and Julian Lake.
“On behalf of the Honorable Acting Minister of Tourism Rafael Boasman and the Ministry of Tourism, I would like to extend our warm welcome to Captain Stig Betten and crew of the Seaborne Odyssey to St. Maarten,” said Arrindell-Doncher. “I hope today will be the first of many enjoyable stays on our beautiful island this season. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Seabourn for choosing to call on Port of St. Maarten, and wish you much success. Welcome.”
Destination Sint Maarten came in top ranking for shopping experience, and port/destination services that are offered to the cruise industry. With the new Homeport Terminal, Port St. Maarten is looking forward to developing a long-term working relationship with cruise brands and at the same time becoming the North eastern Caribbean homeport of choice.
Homeporting generates more airlifts in and out of the destination; brings additional business for local service providers; and creates the potential for pre- and post- cruise extension visits.
On December 18, 2016 the first 250 homeporting cruise passengers arrived on the island with XL Airways to take a cruise with cruise line Pullmantur Cruises. The third cruise line homeporting out of Sint Maarten is Windstar Cruises.
Seabourn’s founding goes back to 1986, and their model is the casual, relaxed elegance previously available only to owners of the world’s most fabulous private yachts. They commissioned the 10,000 GRT Seabourn Pride, an intimate ship nimble enough to visit both great cities and the picturesque harbors preferred by international yachtsmen.
Its current fleet of four intimate, all-suite ships (Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore), carry between 458 and 600 guests each, sail to the world’s most desirable destinations at their peak seasons. On board, guests are served by an award-wining crew numbering nearly as many as the guests, hand-picked and extensively trained to deliver Seabourn’s signature style of thoughtful, personalized and heartfelt hospitality.
Seabourn is a brand of Carnival Corporation & PLC. Carnival has a portfolio of the world’s most widely recognized cruise brands.
The Homeport Terminal building is located near the cargo container storage area; is air-conditioned and state of the art within a 1,500 square meter structure; 12-check in desks and a luggage screening machine; bar and restaurant serving drinks and snacks on sale for passengers; VIP section with seating for 50-80 passengers; Wi-Fi; facilities for the disabled; and storage for more than 1,200 pieces of luggage.
The new facility is a temporary multi-functional structure, which is storm proof and demountable prior to a hurricane threat. Other events can also be held at the terminal due to its multi-functional design and layout.
There is parking for up to 60 vehicles and three touring car options; line up zone for taxis, with direct access to the main entrance from Homeporting Terminal; Royal landscaping and paving to provide “square” experience in front of the Homeport Terminal; lobby of 550m2 with 200 seats for passengers, and two information screens; ceiling fans; high-end transport trolley/train; and toilet facilities.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Representative of the Acting Minister of Tourism Rafael Boasman, Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, Hector Peters and Captain Stig Betten.