A rash of robberies on the beautiful island of St. Kitts has raised concerns about tourist safety. Seventeen Celebrity Cruise Passengers were robbed at gunpoint while traveling to the Brimstone Hill Fortress by bus. The tourists were forced to hand over money, jewelry, cameras, and cell phones. Authorities in St. Kitts state that this was an isolated incident and the island is very safe, but this did not stop Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises from canceling calls at St. Kitts. Authorities reported:
“Last year, over 500,000 cruise passengers safely disembarked in St. Kitts to enjoy the many attractions of our island,” it read. “We deeply regret any type of incident that might tarnish our visitors’ experience. As law enforcement authorities, we are committed to root out and expose the persons responsible.”
Four suspects were eventually arrested thanks to an island-wide manhunt and tips from locals. The incident, which caused cruise lines to cancel calls, and potential cruise passengers to rethink booking a trip to St. Kitts, occurred in on November 14, 2010. The suspects were in custody on November 18, 2010. Carnival and Princess Cruises have begun calling at St. Kitts again, but the bus tour offered by Celebrity called “Essential St. Kitts,” has been canceled indefinitely. In addition to visiting the Brimstone Hill Fortress, the tour featured a sightseeing tour through the city of Basseterre.
Celebrity Cruises released the following statement to the press in response to the attack:
“We are thankful that none of our guests were injured in this unfortunate event, and will continue to provide them any support they may need,” Celebrity said in a statement following the robbery. “A vacation is supposed to be filled with fun, rejuvenation and relaxation. An act of crime should not be part of any vacation, and we regret our guests had to experience those events.”
St. Kitts is still a popular destination and cruise lines have taken extra precautions to keep passengers safe. In addition, St. Kitts has stepped up security in and around the islands most popular tourists areas including Black Rock, Brimestone Hill, Caribelle Batik and surroundings, Scenic Railway, and Basseterre and the Frigate Bay beaches.
Booking St. Kitts Cruises
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Holland America Line
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Regent Seven Seas
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