Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Long Queues at Immigration Checkout Point to be Investigated

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Discussions are scheduled to take place this week between the Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez, and the head of the Immigration Department

The purpose of the meeting is to address an issue that occurred at the airport on Saturday, where passengers were left waiting in queues at the checkout point for an extended period of time.

On Saturday, around 800 passengers were homeported in Antigua, marking the first batch for the season.

It is expected that approximately 25,000 passengers will arrive and depart throughout the season.

“The report I had is that there were ques to get through immigration and we have to look at that and see how we can improve on it,” Fernandez said

Antigua was buzzing with excitement over the weekend as five massive cruise ships docked at the Antigua Cruise Port, bringing a whopping 8,000 passengers to the island.

But that’s not all – for the first time this season, two vessels were simultaneously homeporting at Antigua Cruise Port, making it an unforgettable moment for the island.

The Arvia, a stunning Excel Class vessel, made its grand return to the fifth berth for homeporting calls, with nine scheduled visits during the 2023/2024 winter period.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the luxurious super yacht, Emerald Sakara, made its maiden voyage to the Nevis Street Pier, creating quite the buzz amongst visitors.

With twelve additional turnaround calls scheduled, it’s safe to say that Antigua is the place to be. And that’s not all – at Heritage Quay, Marella Discovery and Artania are also berthed, marking the first time Antigua Cruise Port has hosted four vessels since the start of the season.

Visitors are expected to arrive by special chartered flights, and authorities at V.C Bird International are anticipating a busy and exciting weekend.

Homeporting operations have been ongoing in Antigua and Barbuda for several months now, and are set to last up until March 2024.

The other scheduled days for Homeporting are the 2nd, 16th and 30th December 2023. And if you want to be a part of the action, mark your calendars for the 13th and 27th of January 2024, and the 10th and 24th of February 2024.

The final exercise is set to take place on 9th March 2024

1 Comment

  1. Mary-Gene

    With my International employment training and experience, I had applied at the immigration department in Antigua twice. Once, in 2016 and 2018, my applications were ignored, so I gave up and went back overseas to work. I am a native-born Antigua who went away to study, and I ended up workingstudying overseas for eight years. Antigua and Barbuda’s economy needs to be prepared for the future uncertainty and hire the right qualified native who can then cross-train the present employees already in place. The Immigration department should be more of an international standard operation in some areas not all areas. Homeland security is a very serious operation and the service needs to be very flexible when processing arrival passengers at all ports of entry.


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