BVI News

Unexpected boost | More than 64K in cruise passengers coming this season

The vessel Norwegian Getaway of Norgwegian Cruise Lines returned to BVI on October 18.

Premier and Minister of Tourism Andrew Fahie has said the British Virgin Islands is set to benefit from more than 60,000 cruise passengers for the 2019/2020 tourist season.

The Premier said this ‘unexpected boost’ is as a result of two major cruise lines – Norwegian and Royal Caribbean – confirming that they will increase their calls to the territory.

He said: “The cruise industry is an integral aspect of the way forward for growth and prosperity for the territory. As such, our government remains focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with our valued cruise partners and ensuring that the citizens of the territory continue to benefit from the consequent economic activity. In this regard, I mandated Tortola Pier Park Ltd and the BVI Port Authority to work expeditiously to ensure that this goal is realized.”

“We are already seeing great initial results from our collective and tireless efforts. I am happy to say that our taxi drivers, small business owners, vendors, tour operators and our various agencies can now look forward to increased benefits and opportunities from the arrival of an additional 64,022 passengers in the upcoming 2019/2020 season,” the Premier added.

The Premier said Norwegian Cruises will make 12 calls, bringing 50,000 passengers while Royal Caribbean Cruises promised to increase their current bookings from 32 calls to 39 calls which will bring in an additional 14,022 passengers to the territory’s shores.

He further said Royal Caribbean’s calls include eight this summer and six next summer.

Notably, in the 2016/2017 season, Royal Caribbean made only eight calls to the territory and only two calls in the 2017/2018 season.

The Premier said the territory is working with the stakeholders in the cruise industry to further develop the BVI’s offerings and see an even larger increase in the upcoming seasons.

Roughly half-a-million passengers are expected in the territory by the end of this season.

Territory was expected to lose millions

Just last month, Premier Fahie announced that the territory was projected to lose millions in revenue after Norwegian Cruise Line made a ‘commercial decision’ to adjust their itineraries and reduce ship calls to the territory.

At the time, he said the territory would have seen a passenger shortfall of 180,000 for the 2019/2020 season as a result.

“This translates to an estimated loss in revenue of over $14 million projected using a passenger spend of $78.11 based on studies conducted by Business Research Economic Advisors,” Fahie said at the time.

He also mentioned that this was communicated to the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) since November 2016 where the cruise line informed that this shortfall was expected to continue for future seasons.


However, the Tourism Minister indicated that, after receiving the letter, the BVIPA sent a response accepting the remedies that had been suggested by the cruise line. One such solution was for the cruise liners to pay a ‘shortfall fee’ based on the Territory’s passenger tax.

Fahie also mentioned that during talks with the cruise lines, at least one said it preferred to travel to Antartica than service the BVI because of their treatment under the previous NDP administration.

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  1. Call me Ismael says:

    Do private parties still receive payments for the arrival of cruise ships or are all fees paid to the BVI?

    Do cruise ships off load any of their garbage here?

    How much revenue did we receive last year directly from the cruise ships?

    Like 20
    • Just Ice says:


    • June 12 says:

      On June 12 it was reported in BVI News that Norwegian is cutting the BVI from its itinerary. What is this nonsense that is being reported. Norwegian made it clear that the BVI is an undesirable stop for their passengers. Someone somewhere is blowing smoke ip the arses of the people.

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      • Facts says:

        It is in your best interest to shut your mouth if you don’t know what you are talking about. Didn’t your mother ever tell u if you don’t have anything good to say don’t say anything at all?

        Norwegian is definitely not pulling out and have returned calls to the Territory. They are even working with us to develop our product, these are the facts so go suck a lemon and go sit down.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You must be one of the brilliant students that passed school with a 50% score. Norwegian said they would rather take passengers to the South Pole then bring them to the garbage dump of a Territory. Read the article of June 18. If you can’t read, ask an expat to read it to you. Didn’t your mama tell you to go to school?

          Like 8
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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Royal Caribbean?

      60,000 more trailer trash to steal in our stores.

  2. J. Smith says:

    Norwegian breached the berthing agreements and has a shortfall of 180,000 passengers for the upcoming season, but we are here bragging about 60,000 passengers? That is a net shortfall of 120,000 passengers. I guess the people should be grateful as every bit counts but we need the entire story not just the nice bits and pieces.

    Like 30
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    • CW says:

      Yeah I mean you could be a huge D*ck and only look at the negative or you could be happy for the extra visitors and the MUCH NEEDED MONEY THEY BRING.


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  3. smh says:

    I suppose they don’t know about the incinerator/landfill fiasco. Must not read the news nor visited West End beaches when Pockwood Pond is on fire.

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  4. lol says:

    They will be 60,000 smoked herrings after they leave the smoked filled BVI

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  5. Windy says:

    all those cruise ship tourists. They spend pennies here, not worth it to local merchants. Now the Romneys (thanks to Cyril Romney) and the government make big bucks in agent and passenger fees

    Like 12
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    • that's not true says:

      they spend tens of thousands of dollars and way more @ diamonds international. They have shopping guides promoting their stores on aboard. Tourist board need to see how they can get those shopping guides to promote the local stores.

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  6. djs says:

    Was thinking we could get less coming to do even less if they would just let the customs people from the Ferry dock do a meet and greet (of course without the greet part)
    Winy maybe if we offered more than the Ol tee shirts and nasty attitudes more would spend– more would come. What do we have for tourist to spend on? Oh we could take them to Romney Park– that would be fun!!!!
    you all need to open your eyes to what we’re offering people– other than attitude!

    Like 11
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  7. No nonsense says:

    And the daft government still collecting $3 for a national park (BATHS) since lappy was a little boy. RAMESCO and Island Shipping making a killing. BvI government zilt … well sah. I glad I ain’t have no generation to inherit this slack rope!!

    Like 4
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  8. concern says:

    Too many cruise ships bringing too many tourists can overrun big cities like Venice, Italy. There could be worse consequences for these islands if the Govt. gets greedy and ramps up the numbers.

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  9. sky says:

    These are the dumbest comments. Sabotage.

    We welcome Cruise ships and the premier’s efforts.

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