British Virgin Islands ready for a busy cruise season
With the busiest time on the Caribbean Islands, the British Virgin Islands are doing what they can to accommodate the cruise industry in droves. With a wide variety of safety measures that will ensure the health of residents and cruise ship passengers, the area is ready for what it hopes to be close to the level of ships visiting the islands in the past.
British Virgin Islands ready to welcome cruise ship stopovers
The winter months in the northern hemisphere have always been the busiest for the Caribbean islands. It will be no different this year for the British Virgin Islands.
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Fahie said the islands are eagerly awaiting cruise ship visits to return to pre-Covid levels as for the full 2017/2018 cruise year the 124,857 passengers Estimated cruise ships who visited the BVI spent a total of $ 9.8 million. .
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What is clear is that the British Virgin Islands remain a prime destination for cruise ships, with many luxury cruise lines favoring the smaller outer islands such as Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda, while the larger ones large ships visit the Capital Road Town and the cruise ship pier that is present here.
Junior Minister of Tourism Sharie deCastro has generated considerable interest from all cruise lines: “The cruise industry has confidence in our territory to offer an excellent cruise product to its customers”, said the Deputy Minister of Tourism.
The islands will need to be protected, and while the cruise industry is certainly doing its part, the islands themselves are doing their part.
This month, the BVI are expecting just four cruise ship stopovers: Seabourn Odyssey twice, Viking orion, and The world. Ships will visit more frequently in November with 15 ship calls like Norwegian Again and Norwegian escape, Celebrity Edge, Disney Fantasy, and more.
In December, the islands expect 36 cruise ship calls, and in January, the cruise tourism industry will be fully operational, with 47 expected calls. Ensuring the safety of all will be a critical factor when cruise ships begin to visit in large numbers again. To do this, the government has put in place several initiatives.
First of all, all cruise line passengers over the age of 12 should be fully vaccinated and passed an antigen test before going on board a vessel calling at BVI. Something that is now common practice on board ships.
Bubble tours will also be part of the procedures, although according to BVInews.com, not every time. The media outlet quotes Prime Minister Andrew Fahie as saying that if the BVI is the cruise ship’s first stopover, passengers would have performed two PCR tests to confirm their negative COVID status.
In the meantime, tour operators and taxi drivers are required to agree to bi-weekly tests and other requirements stipulated by the Tourist Board. Taxis or vans will need to be thoroughly disinfected between cruise ship passengers and local residents.
“After providing passenger transport on a cruise, public transport operators should check by stopping at a disinfection and disinfection station operated by the Taxi & Livery Commission and the Environmental Health Board” DeCastro said, “After the disinfection and disinfection requirements, vehicles will be inspected and relevant information recorded, public transport operators will be officially discharged” she added.
The return of more cruise ships to the region will be a welcome sight for locals. Between March of last year and June of this year, there was no call from any ship to the islands. From July, traffic resumes regularly.