Antigua and Barbuda
A handy guide to new development and lift updates, what’s new and everything you need to know about travel to Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, St. Maarten and St. Martin, and Grenada.
For more Caribbean travel updates, check out this story.
Antigua and Barbuda
Air Canada resumed its flights from Toronto to St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda on Oct. 3.
“We welcome Canadians back to our shores and are very pleased that Air Canada has decided to resume services from Toronto to St. John’s, Antigua,” says Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Charles Fernandez. “This upcoming winter season, visitors will continue to safely enjoy Antigua and Barbuda.”
Nino Montagnese, Vice President, Air Canada Vacations, adds that: “Canadians are anxious to travel to the beautiful locations they’ve been dreaming of, and we’re ready to respond to their needs. Our packaged holidays from Toronto to Antigua… give them the opportunity to experience a stunning corner of the Caribbean and create new memories under the sun.”
Colin James, CEO of The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, says the Caribbean destination is witnessing “phenomenal growth in visitor arrivals to take advantage of that pent up demand” with record arrivals recorded in July and August.
James also reports that WestJet and Sunwing are also committed to resuming service in November.
In terms of what’s new, Robert De Niro’s popular NOBU restaurant has opened in Barbuda and Tamarind Hills’ new 43 ocean view suites will open in November, with one and two bedroom villa suites.
“It’s adding a really great property to our repertoire here, really taking advantage of the villa market,” he says. “On the cruise side, we have a fifth cruise berth, which has opened up recently, which has positioned us to take the largest ocean grade vessels, the Oasis-class ships… We’re eagerly anticipating the full restart of the cruise industry in October.”
The destination’s latest entry requirements for all arriving passengers by air is to have a negative PCR test taken within four days of their flight regardless of their vaccination status. Children below the age of five do not require a test.
Go to www.visitantiguabarbuda.com for more.
Aruba is ready to welcome back Canadian vacationers as Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing resume service to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba. Close to 55,000 seats between Canada and Aruba will be available between now and March 2022.
“In working with our trusted airline partners, we are thrilled to resume direct airlift service from Canada, expanding flight options for Canadian visitors to travel to our One happy island this fall and winter,” says Ronella Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority. “With our year-round sunny skies and award-winning white sand beaches, Aruba is the perfect escape from the cold weather that’s on its way to Canada.”
Weekly Monday Sunwing flight service from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) resumed on Sept. 20.
Weekly Sunday Air Canada service from Toronto resumed Oct. 3. This will increase to twice weekly service on Thursdays and Sundays starting in November; three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays starting in December; and four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in January 2022.
WestJet flight service from YYZ to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) will resume twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays Nov. 6, moving to four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in January 2022.
Go to www.aruba.com for more.
St. Maarten and St. Martin
Aida Weinum, director of Saint Martin Tourist Office, reports that all four Canadian carriers are back for the fall and winter. Flights kicked off on Sept. 30 with Sunwing’s weekly Thursday service between Toronto and St. Maarten.
“WestJet will begin early November, and Transat and Air Canada will begin just before Christmas,” she adds.
New additions to the hotel scene include the Orient Beach Hotel, a 35-room property that opened in January, and the 258-suite Secrets Resorts & Spa, previously a Riu hotel, reopened in April.
Weinum says the destination will be focusing on its wellness offerings and promoting street art and murals, in addition to its thriving culinary scene.
A mandatory Electronic Health Authorization System form must be approved before travel, along with a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure or a negative antigen test with 48 hours for fully vaccinated travellers. There is currently a curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in St. Martin, and starting at 11:00 p.m. in St. Maarten.
Meanwhile, May Ling Chun, Director of Tourism, Government of St. Maarten, reports an upward trend in occupancy and arrivals.
Photo courtesy Donovane Tremor.
The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique has launched the first phase of the Grenada Rocks campaign to highlight its authenticity and multi-faceted experiences featuring well known recording artists and fashion designers who hail from the destination.
“Grenada has been on the forefront of tourism development with new airlift, accommodation, experiences, restaurants and more,” says Cherisse David-Hamid, Marketing & Sales Manager for the Grenada Tourism Authority.
She reports that twice weekly (Wednesday and Sunday) Air Canada service from Toronto will resume Oct. 31.
Sunwing is also expected to offer service once a week from Toronto Pearson to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting Nov. 7.
In terms of new development, the 269-room Royalton Grenada Resort and Spa is set to open this month, “located on two white-sand beaches in Tamarind Bay.”
Meanwhile, Spice Island Beach Resort will also reopen this month.
“It’s a luxury, AAA Five Diamond all-inclusive resort located on Grand Anse Beach offering beachfront gourmet dining, romantic getaways, luxury spa and more,” she says.
Looking ahead to 2022, Six Senses at La Sagesse is slated to open with 56-guest rooms, seven one-bedroom villas and five two-bedroom villas next year.
All persons entering by air or sea must be fully vaccinated with a WHO approved vaccine and submit a PCR test within three days of arrival. However, David-Hamid noted that mixed vaccines are accepted.