The planning and development for Royal Caribbean International’s first beach club is to start in Antigua after agreement was reached with the island’s government.

Construction is due to start later this year with the deal agreed after a memorandum of understanding for the project was signed last autumn.

The Royal Beach Club, which will be set along more than a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James on the Caribbean island, is expected to open in 2021.

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The line has also committed to deploy its first large Oasis-class ship to the island.

Symphony of the Seas will call on November 3, docking at a new port at the island’s capital of St John’s.

Facilities planned for the beach club include a pool with a swim-up bar, jet skis, paddle boarding, snorkelling, live music, barbecues and an area for families.

Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley said: “The Royal Beach Club will deliver a memorable beach day to our guests.

“Together with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, we will bring to life an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and create significant economic benefits and opportunities.

“In addition, we are looking at ways for the local community to also enjoy the beach club on days our ships are in other destinations.”

Antigua and Barbuda tourism minister Charles Fernandez added: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda is truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbean’s first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin island state.

“We are also excited to share our beautiful island with guests sailing aboard Royal Caribbean ships when they begin calling to the island later this year.”