Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), in collaboration with Events Company of Saint Lucia Inc. (ECSL) and the IGY Rodney Bay Marina, guided by the Ministries of Tourism, and Health and Wellness, will welcome the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers fleets to Saint Lucia, commencing early December.
The ARC fleet, of approximately 150 boats, gathered in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as of November 8th, 2021. Participants are scheduled to partake in several activities, including fun and learning activities for children, Informative Seminars, Emergency Response Management training, Skippers Briefing Conference, and the customary ARC Flag Raising Ceremony.
All participants will undergo COVID-19 PCR testing before their 2,700-mile Atlantic adventure. On Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, the fleet will sail directly to Saint Lucia, with the first boat to arrive around the 30th November 2021 observing COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of participants, staff and Saint Lucians at large.
Saint Lucia has been home to ARC for over 31 years, and the upcoming edition will not only be recognised as one of the ‘safest events’ to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic but will also afford Saint Lucia, the host country, the opportunity to offer once again the warm welcome, that we are known for, to familiar faces and newbies.
In expressing commitment to the annual event, Tourism Minister – Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire remarked, “We commend the team at World Cruising Club for choosing Saint Lucia year after year. The economic impact of ARC reflects positively on our local economy, and our decision to host the rally for a second year amid the global pandemic reflects our continued commitment to our local businesses and this world-renowned event. We encourage everyone to follow the protocols outlined while ensuring that the experience is both enjoyable and memorable.”
Another new and exciting sailing rally, called ‘ARC January’, starts in the new year on January 9th 2022, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with boats to arrive in Saint Lucia about 14 days later. This route will follow the same itinerary as the December ARC, sailing to Rodney Bay Marina, noting the presence of constant trade winds and ideal weather conditions – 54 boats have already registered for this adventure. The introduction of this new component will welcome more visitors to the destination for an even more extended period than is customary with ARC Events.
Director for the World Cruising Club Andrew Bishop noted, “It is wonderful to offer this choice of routes to eager sailors, and further extend the warm welcome they receive in Saint Lucia. Organising a complex event like the ARC under the continued fluctuating presence of the global pandemic has been a challenging task, but we learned a lot by delivering successful rallies in 2020, which maintained the amazing ARC spirit against the odds. As we look to the departures this year, the team at World Cruising Club has been committed to overcoming these challenges knowing well over 1,000 sailors will be given an amazing welcome in Rodney Bay after crossing the Atlantic under the ARC banner this season.”
In collaboration with World Cruising Club, the Tourism Authority will host five international journalists who will highlight the event internationally and feature Saint Lucia as a yachting destination. This year’s visiting media are from major yachting publications, including Yachting Sud, Praktiskt Båtägande, Yachting Monthly, Caribbean Compass, and SAIL and Multihull World.
The ARC and the new ARC January events will again culminate at its home base for the last thirty-two (32) years, at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina.