BVI News

Cruise ships officially return this week!

File Photo. (Photo Credit: Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson)

Works have started at three local beaches to get them ready for the official return of cruise ships to the British Virgin Islands this week.

Two cruise ships will be arriving tomorrow and on Thursday (November 7), said Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering.

Works are being done on the beaches at Long Bay/Beef Island, and Brandywine Bay.

Dr Pickering said those beaches were selected because they are easiest to restore following the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“The first two cruise ships are coming and we find ourselves in a bind because if you’ve been to Cane Garden Bay, you would realize that Cane Garden Bay is in no shape to send visitors. So we are scrambling to find how we are going to distribute the passengers that come off the ship; and Beef Island is one of the places that you probably can cleanup and… do some stuff with.”

“We starting some work at Long Bay/Beef Island and Brandywine Bay… I don’t know how much we could do with Brandywine Bay as it is [now] but Long Bay/Beef Island we can at least do something to make it presentable,” said Dr Pickering who is also Minister of Natural Resources and Labour.

“The question is [also] being asked whether we can use Smugglers Cove but hopefully by the next go-around we probably could distribute some persons down there.”

The tourism sector, which is the territory’s second largest revenue-earner was overwhelmed by two category 5 hurricanes in September.

Several accommodations and destinations within the territory were either damaged or destroyed.

The government, however, has been scrambling to revive the industry to welcome visitors back to BVI shores.

Notably, weeks after Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr D Orlando Smith announced that the BVI was open for business, the territory successfully staged the 5th annual Lobster Fest. It was held on Anegada last week.

Director of the BVI Tourist Board Sharon Flax Brutus reported that a considerable number of visitors attended the event, adding that all available accommodations had been booked.

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