Cruise ship line to return to Antigua & Barbuda

Sailing ship line Star Clippers says it plans to return to Antigua and Barbuda in November, claiming that it has received assurance of improved security for passengers.

“Star Clippers has been assured by the Antiguan government that they have improved security on the island, particularly in the areas where our guests visit,” said Star Clippers Americas president Jack Chatham in a statement.

The operator of the 227-passenger Royal Clipper pulled out of Antigua and Barbuda in January following the murder of one the ship’s passengers during a port call.

Nina Elisabeth Nilssen, 29, of the San Francisco, California, was found stabbed to death on Jan.19 on a trail just off the island’s famed Pigeon Point Beach.

Antigua and Barbuda is listed as one of six port calls on the Royal Clipper’s 2010-2011 seven-night “Windward” itinerary out of Barbados, as well as on the 170-passenger Star Clipper’s seven-night “Leeward Islands” itinerary out of St. Maarten.

Chatham says the company will do a final site inspection before making its first sailing to Antigua in November in ensuring that all of its concerns are addressed.

“If we conclude that issues of safety and increased security have not been resolved to our satisfaction, we will change the itineraries of Royal Clipper and Star Clipper to include alternative ports of call,” he said.

Since Nilssen’s murder, the Royal Clipper said it has been substituting a call in Nevis for Antigua.