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Major Caribbean cruise ports remain closed


Major Caribbean cruise ports remain closed

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SOME OF THE major cruise ports in the Eastern Caribbean have been closed indefinitely as the tourism authorities continue to survey the damage following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

The ports on the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and St Maarten have been closed resulting in altered itineraries for Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

In the case of Norwegian, the vessel will not sail scheduled Eastern Caribbean itineraries until November. 

They will be replaced by stops in the Western Caribbean, while Royal Caribbean will replace St Thomas and St Maarten with St Kitts Nevis and St Croix.

Tortola in the British Virgin Islands that also served Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Celebrity and Viking Sea, is also closed. 

Meanwhile St Croix, also in the British Virgin Islands, will welcome up to four thousand passengers on Sunday when Royal Caribbean’s MS Adventure of the Seas docks at the Ann E. Abramson pier in Frederiksted.

Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty said St Croix escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma and despite initial power outages, the island is now ready and poised to welcome visitors, as hotels and visitor attractions are up and running. 

She said awareness of St Croix is critically important and the Department of Tourism’s sales and marketing teams are already strategically positioning St Croix in the marketplace.

“St Croix will lead our tourism positioning for the foreseeable future. We have already started to shift our marketing strategy to focus on St Croix, while we rebuild St Thomas and St John,” the Commissioner said.

She added that the much-needed injection of economic activity from visitors to St Croix, together with activity from relief workers and construction, will ultimately help St Thomas and St John rebound and recover sustainably. 

“Tourism is an important industry for us in the US Virgin Islands and we are depending on the resilience of tourism and of our people to revitalise our economy and support our residents across both districts,” the Commissioner said. (CMC)