The resumption of shipping in the Caribbean next June is good news for the Caribbean islands, which have decided to open their borders to ships. Unfortunately for one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean, it looks like this will not be allowed. Finally, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory and therefore fall under the CDC.
As a result, the British Virgin Islands will be able to receive cruise ships starting in June, while the U.S. Virgin Islands, a few miles to the west, will not.
The U.S. Virgin Islands wants a fresh start. According to a report by the West Indian Company Ltd, there is no green light yet for the resumption of shipping and it is unlikely to happen before the CDC resumes or implements the conditional shipping order.
Acting Chairman and Managing Director of West India Company Ltd, Anthony Ottley, said:
Unfortunately for us, we still don’t know when we will see ships in St. John’s. St. Thomas and St. John’s Cross. Royal Caribbean has informed us that with effect from 12. In June, ships from the Bahamas, Bermuda and St. John’s will be used. St. Maarten.
Unfortunately for the U.S. Virgin Islands, it is currently a reality that we are subject to the regulations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, we cannot currently berth these vessels on any route.
Photo credits: Solarisys / Shutterstock.com
Does this mean Royal Caribbean believes the conditional sailing ban will be lifted sooner than expected? No, I don’t think so. Neither Royal Caribbean nor Celebrity Cruises will sail to the U.S. Virgin Islands in June.
Also read : Business in St. Petersburg St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
It seems that Royal Caribbean then had exploratory talks with the islands to see if a port call was possible once the conditional sailing ban was lifted. The announcement was made by Jayne Halcomb, Royal Caribbean’s director of destination development for the Americas and Caribbean:
We look forward to our return and are confident that with the progress and success of the [COVID-19] vaccine and our history of safe operations, we will return to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The fact that the BVI will be visited by several cruise lines this summer is particularly painful for the archipelago, which relies heavily on revenue from the thousands of cruise passengers who usually pass through each day.
According to the United States Department of Tourism (USVI), in an average year, 1.8 million cruise passengers board cruise ships. The United States Virgin Islands ranks fifth in the Caribbean in cruise-related spending, with $29.2 million.
Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that the Virgin Islands wants to get back on its feet as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the solution to the U.S. Virgin Islands problem lies not with the islanders, but with a government agency thousands of miles away.
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