Thousands of passengers sailed into the BVI on a Norwegian cruise ship on Thursday, marking the cruise lines first return to the territory since the September 2017 hurricanes.
As armies of cruise passengers disembarked the Norwegian Getaway, Minister responsible for ports Mark Vanterpool along with Governor Augustus Jaspert, Junior Tourism Minister Archibald Christian, and Tourism Director Sharon Flax-Brutus boarded the vessel where they visited the captain.
There, Vanterpool presented a plaque to the captain on behalf of Premier Dr D Orlando Smith and the BVI as “a token of appreciation and friendship”.
Like Disney, passengers on the Norwegian Getaway on Wednesday received a grand welcome from the BVI, especially in the area of the Tortola cruise pier where passengers disembarked.
Organised tours of the territory then saw cruise passengers visiting other islands in the territory such as Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda.
The cruise ship had approximately 4,313 guests and 1,617 crew members.
“The BVI Tourist Board is extremely happy to see the return of our two major cruise partners to the BVI,” Tourism Director Flax-Brutus told BVI News.
“BVI remains a favoured destination of cruise guests. We enjoy showcasing the natural beauty of our islands as well as the hospitality of our residents. From the smiling faces and preliminary comments from our guests we met expectations and helped them to create beautiful memories. This is what BVI tourism is all about. We are stronger together.”
Norwegian is one of two of the major cruise lines that make calls to the territory. The other cruise line is Disney, which made its first return to the BVI back in August.
Typically, Disney and Norwegian cruise lines each shuttle about 4,000 or more passengers to the territory in one call.
Both cruise lines will now be resuming regular trips to the BVI, which was battered by two category-five hurricanes last year. Disney Cruises will next return on Tuesday and Norwegian on Wednesday.
Roughly 550,000 cruise passengers are expected in the BVI this season.
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