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  • Writer's pictureVirgin Islands Port Authority

Virgin Islands Port Authority Celebrates Arrival of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas

Port Authority, Royal Caribbean Group and Cruise Terminals International Advance Projects, Secure USVI future as premier Caribbean Cruise Destination


ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Today, the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) welcomed Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas, to the Austin “Babe” Monsanto Marine Terminal St. Thomas for the first time.


On hand to celebrate the ship’s arrival and welcome guests with local fanfare were government officials, including the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Honorable Albert Bryan Jr., as well as Port Authority and private sector officials.


The day also commemorated the official signing of three agreements between the Port Authority (VIPA), Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), and Cruise Terminals International (CTI) that will enable the transformation of the territory’s cruise industry and secure the U.S. Virgin Island’s position as a premier cruise destination in the Caribbean. 


“It’s a bright day for the Virgin Islands,” said Carlton Dowe, VIPA Executive Director. “We are proud to welcome the newest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry to St. Thomas, while simultaneously securing the Virgin Islands’ future as a sought-after cruise destination through improvements that continue to bring the latest generation of ships to our shores.”


The first agreement to be executed is an extension of the existing Memorandum of Understanding between VIPA, CTI, and RCG reaffirming their commitment to develop the Crown Bay District, including the Austin Babe Monsanto Marine Facility and Crown Bay Center in St. Thomas.


The second is an addendum to the existing 10-year Piers Usage Agreement between VIPA and Royal Caribbean Group, which creates a Capital Cost Recovery Charge (CRCC) to advance the Crown Bay District Upland Development Project in St. Thomas., including the predevelopment work for a third cruise ship dock.  On St. Croix, the CRCC will be used to fund pre-development costs to advance improvements to allow for a broader range of ships to call at the island.


The final agreement to be signed, the Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) between VIPA and CTI, stipulates key terms relating to predevelopment work required for the development of the Crown Bay District in St. Thomas.


Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will call regularly on St. Thomas on seven-night Caribbean cruises from Miami.


“We will continue to welcome the Icon of the Seas, her guests, and crew to St. Thomas as they experience the beauty and hospitality of the Virgin Islands,” said Dowe.”



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