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BVI looking to expand into ‘expedition cruising’

The government is making considerations for the BVI to expand its tourism product into expedition cruising.

This type of cruising is much like the traditional cruise industry but evolves around small vessels, luxury cruise yachts, expedition ships and classic sailing schooners where the passenger count is under 250.

This industry niche allows cruisers to visit areas that larger ships can’t reach and typically focuses on ‘destination immersion’ rather than ‘big entertainment productions’.

The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) said in a media release this month that although the BVI is not currently an area marketed towards expedition cruising, “it is important in the changing tourism landscape to adjust based on trends and adapt to the new travel environment that the pandemic has brought”.

Local stakeholders such as the BVIPA, the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park, the BVI Tourist Board and local agents took a serious look into this industry at the recently held Miami forum dubbed the Seatrade Cruise Virtual: Expedition Cruising.

“Maintaining a presence and relationship with global cruise partners is essential during the COVID-19 pandemic as we need to understand what the resumption of safe cruising will look like for all involved,” the BVIPA’s Marketing Director, Natasha Chalwell said after the forum.

“It is crucial that we align ourselves with our cruise tourism partners locally, regionally and internationally to position ourselves for the eventual safe resumption of the industry,” she added.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the pier park, Vance Lewis said Seatrade Cruise Virtual was a chance to expand the territory’s knowledge base, identify changing trends, and connect with the BVI’s “smaller, luxury cruise partners across the globe”.

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7 Comments

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  1. Hmmmmm says:

    Pure old talk.

    • Yup says:

      No shot. Will be looking to destroy the tourists as always. Collect your cruise ship passenger tax and be happy the cruise ships might come. You already killed the rest of tourism

  2. New? says:

    This was already the case before covid… nothing new… trying to reinvent the wheel there.

  3. Seafarer says:

    There are a number of smaller ship cruise lines who would like to base themselves in BVI for tax and other reasons.

    The lack of an airport able to take big jets is what stops them.

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  4. Love this! says:

    Love this idea! We, BVIslanders, need to pool our resources to purchase and BETTER yet, locally craft modern schooners outfitted luxuriously with bedroom suites and a galley for our visitors to enjoy. We were ALWAYS good at boat building. Let’s revive the industry and maybe export quality boats!! Got some gifted carpenters too. Make way for new pillar.

  5. Lodger says:

    Remember The Flying Cloud did just this.

  6. Hugh Darley says:

    You better get the right consultants or you will really screw up all future opportunities! Oh and then pay the consultant! The BVI needs a true vision plan an then allow it to develop without undue Government interference. That is a tall order for the BVI!

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