Busy St. Croix Cruise Season Sees Two Inaugural Ship Visits This Week
For the second time this week, St. Croix received an inaugural cruise ship call. Virgin Voyage’s Valiant Lady made her first call to the port of Frederiksted yesterday, November 9, bringing over 2,000 passengers and 1,160 crew to the island. St. Croix Administrator Sammuel Sanes, Assistant Tourism Commissioner Elizabeth Hansen-Wattley, VIPA Acting Assistant Executive Director Bill Rawlins, and Marine Manager Mervyn Constantine extended a warm Crucian welcome to Captain Aris Medina Morales and his guests at a plaque exchange ceremony.
On Tuesday, November 8, VIPA’s Board Chairman Willard John, Acting Assistant Executive Director Bill Rawlins, and St. Croix Marine Manager Mervyn Constantine welcomed Captain Thor and his guests and crew to St. Croix as the Voyager of the Seas made its inaugural call to Frederiksted.
VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe said, “I cannot recall a time in recent years when we have seen ships berthed for three days in a row in Frederiksted. This is the kind of progress we are making and expect to continue to see for the U.S. Virgin Islands. This will be a vibrant cruise season that will foster economic growth and opportunities for those invested in our tourism industry, such as the tour operators, restaurants, vendors, and taxi drivers.” Dowe added that he appreciates the assistance provided by the Virgin Islands Police Department which kept visitors and residents safe, the VI Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation which coordinates all vendor operations in Frederiksted, the Department of Tourism for the entertainment and hospitality that created a welcoming atmosphere for the cruise visitors, and the continued support of the Bryan/Roach Administration.
The robust cruise season for St. Croix is attributed to the partnership between the Virgin Islands Port Authority, the Bryan/Roach Administration, and the Royal Caribbean Group, which has committed to significantly increasing cruise visitors to the island by 180 percent in comparison to the 50,000 passengers that visited St. Croix in 2019. Cruise schedules for the U.S. Virgin Islands are posted on the cruise section of VIPA’s website, www.viport.com.