The first of two cruise vessels scheduled to berth in the territory for one month under the BVI Ports Authority’s (BVIPA) warm lay-ups initiative, has arrived at the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park’s port.
The vessel ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’, which is part of the Royal Caribbean International fleet of cruise ships, arrived Monday morning, January 11. It will be joined by the second ship ‘Grandeur of the Seas’ on Tuesday.
According to Acting Managing Director of the BVIPA Oleanvine Maynard, both ships will not have any guests on board and will be berthing strictly “to lay up, refuel, take on provisions and spare parts, and possibly other services”.
“Crew members will not be allowed to disembark and there is no access to vessels from shore-based staff during stays in the BVI,” Maynard further said.
Dock will be secured
BVI News spoke to Chief Executive Officer of the Pier Park Vance Lewis, who said that Rhapsody has more than 80 persons on board, who are all crew members of the ship.
He also confirmed that the area where the cruise vessels are to dock will have a full complement of security to ensure the area is neither breached by residents or crew members from the ships.
“The dock itself where it’s docked is a secure area so no one is allowed to go there and BVI Ports Authority has provided security guards to ensure this,” he told our news centre.
No concerns by tenants of Pier Park
Lewis also said the tenants of the Pier Park have not raised any concerns with the presence of the vessels in the port. He said they were all informed on the nature of the ships’ visit to the territory prior to the first arrival.
“No concerns that have come to my notice. We have informed all the tenants in here since on Friday and we haven’t had any concerns and I presume this effort along with some other efforts that we are doing is to educate the public that there should be no concerns associated with cruise ships coming to the BVI,” Lewis stated.
He added: “It’s just the use of the docks which otherwise would not be used by BVI Ports Authority, and it’s a commercial arrangement which is not putting the population at risk.”
In the meantime, CEO Lewis advised the public that the Pier Park is open for business as usual, stating that customers can continue to conduct their day-to-day affairs without any obstruction relating to the vessels.
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