VIPA Board Approves Fee to Fund Major Cruise Port Improvement Projects and Dredging
The Virgin Islands Port Authority Board of Governors today approved a five-dollar ($5.00) per passenger Capital Cost Recovery Charge (CCRC) to fund work associated with major capital improvement projects that are expected to improve the territory’s cruise port infrastructure. At its meeting today, the VIPA Board authorized Executive Director Carlton Dowe to begin discussions with Royal Caribbean Group on the implementation of the CCRC.
The CCRC is intended to be charged to Royal Caribbean Group and its affiliate’s cruise ships that dock at Austin “Babe” Monsanto Marine Terminal in Crown Bay, St. Thomas. It is anticipated that the fee will begin January 1, 2024. The revenues collected from this fee will fund the pre-development work necessary to advance the Crown Bay District Upland Development Project in St. Thomas, including the development of a third cruise ship pier in Crown Bay and necessary dredging.
The Board also authorized Executive Director Dowe to impose a $5 per passenger CCRC for Royal Caribbean Group’s cruise ships and its affiliates that berth at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted, St. Croix. This fee will fund pre-development costs to advance structural improvements and dredging required to allow the larger Freedom-class cruise ships to dock in St. Croix. The largest ship that can currently berth at the Abramson cruise ship pier is a Voyager-class vessel.
Director Dowe said, “We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Royal Caribbean Group as we move forward in the development of these exciting projects that will benefit the territory and strengthen this U.S. Virgin Islands’ position as a premier destination. The Caribbean and the rest of the world are not waiting for the USVI to advance. The time for progress is now.”