Port St. Maarten. (file photo)
PHILIPSBURG--Port St. Maarten has another feather in its cap being named #1 Best Caribbean Shopping by Porthole Cruise Magazine.
The Magazine is described as the world’s leading cruise publication. It announced its Readers’ Choice Awards 2020, and Port St. Maarten came in as #1 as a destination with the Best Caribbean Shopping Port.
Editor-In-Chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine Bill Panoff stated: “The 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards arrive under unique circumstances, but that doesn’t mean Porthole Cruise readers stopped paying attention to what’s happening in the industry. From the top ships and ports to cuisine and onboard experiences, you voted for your favourites and we’re proud to announce the winners.”
Categories that cruise passengers could have chosen from were: The Best Ships; The Best Onboard Experiences; and The Best Destinations.
“I always look forward to seeing the results of our Readers’ Choice Awards because our readers are such discerning travellers with a deep appreciation of every part of the cruise experience,” Panoff said.
“For St. Maarten to be voted once again as the Best Caribbean Shopping Port speaks not only to its natural beauty, but also to the onshore offerings that cruisers look forward to and enjoy year after year.”
Port St. Maarten’s management is thankful for the honour. “Once again, destination St. Maarten has been identified and favoured by cruise travellers as destination of choice. Once the resumption of cruising takes off, as a destination we will continue to create and contribute to memorable experiences for cruise passengers as they rediscover our destination.
“Port St. Maarten is preparing for the safe resumption of cruise tourism under very strict protocols related to public health and safety. We are in the final stages of concluding our revisions to our “Safe Resumption Strategic Plan.”
“The resumption of cruise tourism within the region will see an emphasis on the health and safety of the local population and cruise visitors which was a key discussion point at the SeatradeCruise Virtual Conference that took place in the first week of October. We look forward to welcoming back to our shores cruise passengers offering them the best ‘friendly service,’” Port Management said.
The Caribbean remains the number one cruise region which will be critical to cruising’s recovery as it is the largest cruise line deployment region out of the global market, capturing 32 per cent of the cruise business, Port St. Maarten said in its release.
In 2019, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), approximately 30 million passengers took a cruise. It is a significant income earner for Caribbean nations including St. Maarten. The North American market is the largest where passengers come from accounting for over 14 million followed by Western Europe 6.7 million and Asia coming in third with over 4.2 million, according to CLIA 2018 figures.
Porthole Cruise Magazine has been a trusted name in cruise news for more than 20 years. Cruise guests are invited to vote for their favourite cruise ships, cruise lines and cruise destinations in each category. The Porthole Cruise Magazine Annual Readers’ Choice Awards began in 1999.
Porthole Cruise Magazine was founded in 1993 by Publisher Bill Panoff who is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PPI Group. The publication is presented bi-monthly with an international audience. It is dedicated to cruise ship travel, holiday cruise destinations around the world, and cruise ship/destination experiences.