BVI News

Empty cruise ships berthing in BVI ‘a beacon of hope’ for our economy

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie has said the government’s decision to allow empty cruise ships to make warm lay-ups to the territory symbolises a beacon of hope for the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

A warm lay-up describes a situation where a cruise ship docks at a port with a reduced number of crew members as well as reduced maintenance of the vessel while its essential machinery and mechanical systems are kept in operation.

When BVI News asked how much the territory is expecting to earn from these warm lay-ups, Premier Fahie did not give a direct response.

The Premier also neglected to say whether the government has engaged any cruise lines so far or when the first cruise line will dock in the territory.

He, however, assured that the few crew members on board these cruise vessels will not pose any health threats to the BVI public.

“The initiative does not involve passengers but only crew. They will only layover to refuel and provisioning. No one would be coming off the ship. However, all health protocols will be adhered to at all times, especially when provisioning and refuelling,” Premier Fahie said.

He continued: “In addition, the cruise liners will be doing testing of their crew for COVID-19 periodically. We are confident that our health protocols coupled with those of the cruise liners will last the test of time in this initiative.”

‘Ships can berth during warm/hot lay-up up to a year’

Providing technical expertise on the matter of warm lay-ups, the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) said in a subsequent media release on Saturday that a ‘technical cruise ship call’ implies that “a vessel would be allowed pratique of short duration, from several hours to three days”.

On the other hand, the BVIPA said, “warm or hot layup allows a vessel to be docked for longer periods of time, in some instances up to a year”.

“During this time the vessel is out of service, but can be mobilised into service at a short notice. Warm layup entails a reduced level of crewing and assumes a reduction in regular fuel consumption, repairs/maintenance costs,” the Ports Authority said.

Economic benefits

The BVIPA further said, “the economic benefits of extending technical calls or warm layups include ships carrying out refuelling, repair and start-up activities in the territory”.

All of this happens without any crew members disembarking. Cruise vessels will be allowed to berthing at the BVIPA’s Tortola Cruise Pier and its Port Purcell dock “under strict health and safety rules”.

As cruise lines have been forced to suspend operations because of COVID-19, most are in search of ports to dock and maintain their vessels as they wait for the pandemic to subside.

In the meantime, the government has not yet given a date when the BVI is expected to start accepting tourists to its shores.

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  1. Is it April 1st? says:

    Is our Premier really serious? An empty cruise ship? Where is your plan to open the country safely so that those cruise ships could actually have people on them that could navigate our territory safely and spend money?
    It is a clear dereliction of duty by our government not to have a plan for this catastrophe that we currently face. The excuse that you can’t produce a plan because it will change is the most reckless statement I ever heard by a leader.

    Like 22
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    • TO Is it April1st? says:

      For me it is April1st because you are the only fool in town. This move is a wise one and clearly it is a sign of good things to come so stop fussing about everything.

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  2. Styles. says:

    Hi Andy Foi

    You have no clue do you? So we don’t bring in tourists, which means we don’t bring in money. Sure a bunch of groceries for the crew and some fuel.

    But we do allow these ships to pollute our waters.

    Do you know what a cost/benefit analysis is?

    Do you know what the cost is of a cruise ship in our waters? Do you realize with this very limit benefit that this is not worth it

    By now we already know that you don’t know what a cost/benefit analysis is. Because the benefits of your keep the border closed “plan” really don’t outweigh the costs.

    And now again you made a decision that completely does not make any sense whatsoever for the territory.

    Or do you count on the brownie points from the cruise ship companies in the future? What future? By the time you want to reopen all business are bankrupt anyway.

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  3. LB says:

    Lmao. Pure jokes!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    So only the government want to make money? SMH

    Like 10
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  5. vip heckler says:

    He see a place now where he can get a lil change to spend among cronies

    Like 6
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  6. hmmmmm says:

    I believe I missed the first page of the story or something. Are you kidding me? All of the cruiseships are docked in a graveyard right now. Staff returned to their homelands, many of who had hell to get back their countries and endured mental torture on those ships for months, rejected by many countries.

    So what will an empty cruiseship be doing in BVI. They going leave Port Everglades or Panama to come here to get provisioning for who. Who going tie the rope if they can’t step foot off?

    Andrew we done see enough of Universal Studios and disney. Fairy tale stores out of style now. Stop trying to give people a 6 for a 9 and taking us for idiots. Ah beg you

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  7. Dede says:

    It is.clear from most of these posts that some people don’t pay attention to what going on on the international stage. The cruise association has already stated that they do not expect to start anything before November and some vessels may not sail until January 2021. Where do you expect the Premier to get passengers from?

    The industry has more ships than ports to dock at. Many ships are sailing the globe only docking for fuel and supplies while given crew members a chance to catch themselves. Under normal circumstances they would change when the pull into ports in PR, Fl or if in Mediterranean, one of the European ports. Due to the virus this is not possible so this is the next option. When you see ships in ports now they not there for passengers but the refuel and repair until it time open for passengers. It the same with some airlines. Many are operating with skeleton crews, traveling to certain destinations until.

    The BVI is not the only one with close borders. There are many top destination that are close. The Cayman Islands just announced their opening date. So people give the Premier a break and stop complaining. I too would like to see our orders open and people back to work. I also that some situation are beyond our control and we just have to wait it out. God is in control. Stay safe everyone. Happy Monday.”

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  8. incompetent says:

    We are afraid to say it but this government is incompetent! Straight up facts!

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    • @ incompetent says:

      The only FACTS is that you are the only incompetent entity. People like you hate the Government for no reason other than hatred.

  9. People says:

    This is a good move by the Government

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  10. Forever BVI says:

    You can never please the people of the BVI.

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  11. Something says:

    This is a start. Good move BVIPA you’re getting your bills paid with this business! Agent fees, some provisioning businesses and possibly marine supply stores too …that’s something $

    Now if they consider to let crew off that’s even more $

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  12. Wise move Premier says:

    I agree 100% with the Premier on this one..Dont always agree with him, especially on the borders. I think ooening the borders with a real plan is the best way to control the importation and spread of the Virus.. Having these empty cruise ship berthing here is a wise move,,a very big forward step….

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  13. Rubber Duck says:

    Presumably they would pay some rental to be at the dock. $10,000 a week for big ship I am guessing. So not too bad if we have two or maybe three of them. But not a replacement for tourism.

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  14. Oh says:

    Agreeing to something and getting something out of it are two completely different things. Not one ship is coming to the BVI to refuel or provision, are you f***ing crazy? It is probably a formality in the event a ship needs to pull in for weather related issues, mechanical issues or something else. Cruise ships have never fueled or provisioned here but they will start now? Just 6 weeks before they start their season?

    Like 3
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    • Not so says:

      That’s incorrect…but your in the business so you know right ?
      Ask local cruise agents for facts! and times have changed we must change too.

  15. Smh... says:

    Cruise ships? Cruise ships w/ or w/out tourist only really benefit the government and taxi services. Why not the boat charters and ppl who fly in who actually spend money at the local businesses? Just the mention of cruise ships by the government is worrisome. They are breeding grounds for covid more so than any other form of travel.

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  16. 2 cents says:

    another scam to keep the peasants quiet while the gov’t keeps dawdling. MAKE A PLAN TO OPEN!

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  17. Mack Alison says:

    I think it’s a good idea , and those that knows nothing about how ships operates should shut up.
    Some of these ship have been drifting out to sea for months with no passengers and half the crew to require to operate them . It s really nice when a country give them refuge for a day , as is being done in St Maarten . Presently there are 4 cruise ship docked in St Maarten, the crew doesn’t have to go ashore but at least it helps for there mental health. It’s not easy just being a drift out to sea for 5 months.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Layup cruise line fees for a month can be over a million dollars

  19. Angelina Lauro says:

    Cruise ships are a liability anywhere especially at the dock! Remember this disaster in St. Thomas back in 1979!

  20. Soggy capt says:

    We need tourists spending money.

  21. Disappointed in my people as a Bvislander says:

    Mr. Fahie and his team is doing the very best they can to keep this country and it’s people safe and all we do is complain complain complain, where is your thanks to this fine hardworking team???? These people work tirelessly to come up with ideas and plans to safeguard u, ur family, ur friends and ur business and yet all you do is kick dirt in their faces. All of you asking for a plan can you come up wid an effefctive and productive plan in opening the borders yet keep your people conpletely safe???? Can u???? Give the people a chance, he is doing nothing wrong by allowing the lay u2o of cruise ships in our ports it can only bring us revenue. Do u know how much it costs a ship to dock???? Get ur facts straight before spitting out garbage. He clearly stated that the crew will be tested n they will not be getting off the ship. Look at the countries without proper cautioning their case are out of control suppose we play careless like that, just suppose where would we be today, we might all be here fighting for our lives now. Come on Tortolians it is time we wise up and stand together as one instead of constantly tearing down eachother for no appearent reason. Mr Fahie is doing the right thing by keeping the borders close to the public until we have a proper handle on Covid. Remember where we currently stand because of one person who infected ove 50 people in no time at all, can we afford to have hundreds of people come into the country uncontrolled with one small hospital and a population of 30,000 people??? My people we must be wiser than this no time for foolish talk lets put our thoughts and ideas into action to safeguard our country and its people.

    Mr fahie u and ur team is doing an excellent job i pray God continue to guide and protect us all as he give u all the wisdom on what and what not to do, don’t be distracted by the noise continue to stay focus as u lead us forward.

  22. Anonymous says:


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