St. Croix received a new visitor today as the Marella Discovery sailed into the Port of Frederiksted for the first time at 7 a.m. and berthed at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility. The ship brought 1,756 guests and 737 crew members to Frederiksted. Captain Justin Seal Lawes, his guests, and crew were welcomed by Virgin Islands Port Authority Board Chairman Willard John, Executive Director Carlton Dowe, Acting Assistant Executive Director Bill Rawlins, Acting St. Croix Marine Manager Jeffrey Saldana and Assistant Tourism Commissioner Elizabeth Hansen-Wattley at an onboard Plaque and Keys Exchange Ceremony.
Launched in June 1995, the Marella Discovery (formerly Splendour of the Seas and TUI Discovery) is a former Royal Caribbean International Vision-class cruise ship now sailing for Marella Cruises. The second in the line of the Vision-class ships, it features 11 decks, a seven-story lobby, a rock-climbing wall, and a 9-hole miniature golf course. The vessel has a capacity of 1,830 passengers and up to 750 crew. It weighs 69,130 gross tons and is 866 feet long with a draft of 25.9 feet. It will berth in Frederiksted until 6 p.m. today.
Today’s inaugural call by the Marella marks the third inaugural cruise ship visit for a notably active 2022-2023 cruise ship season on St. Croix. VIPA expects more inaugural calls to St. Croix this season, including the SeaDream on March 27, 2023, which will berth in Christiansted, and the Ritz Carlton Evrima on April 4, 2023, at Frederiksted.