Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

‘Swim with the Dolphins’ to return in 2020

- as Gov’t responds to feedback from cruise industry
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government is working towards facilitating the return of Dolphin Discovery’s Swim with the Dolphins at Prospect Reef, Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
The area where the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery at Prospect Reef were kept during Hurricane Irma. Photo: VINO/file
The area where the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery at Prospect Reef were kept during Hurricane Irma. Photo: VINO/file
The facility that housed Dolphin Discovery's Swim with the Dolphins at Prospect Reef was damaged by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo: VINO
The facility that housed Dolphin Discovery's Swim with the Dolphins at Prospect Reef was damaged by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo: VINO
According to Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), feedback from cruise passengers and industry partners show that the demand for Dolphin Discovery’s Swim with the Dolphins is high. Photo: VINO
According to Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), feedback from cruise passengers and industry partners show that the demand for Dolphin Discovery’s Swim with the Dolphins is high. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The government of the Virgin Islands (VI) and the Management of Dolphin Discovery are close to finalising contractual arrangements that would result in commencement of works at a section of Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort to facilitate the return of ‘Swim with the Dolphins’.

The internationally acclaimed Dolphin Discovery’s Swim with the Dolphins is seen as a key component of the VI’s tourism product, especially for cruise passengers.

The dolphins were taken out of their usual swim area and placed in a nearby pool prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall in the territory on September 6, 2017. The Category 5 hurricane then ravaged the Virgin Islands. Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort was devastated, including the facility that accommodated Dolphin Discovery. The dolphins were subsequently taken out of the territory, according to reports reaching our newsroom.

According to Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), feedback from cruise passengers and industry partners show that the demand for the tourist attraction is high.

Premier Fahie alluded to this fact while addressing reporters at a press conference at Brandywine Bay Restaurant on Wednesday night, October 2, 2019 in the presence of five cruise tourism executives who were in the territory to meet with local industry stakeholders to share their expectations of their product offerings.

On the panel were Associate Vice President of Government Relations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Andre Pousada; Vice President of Destination Services Operations, Norwegian Cruise Line, Christine Manjencic; Vice President of Cruise Operations, MSC Cruise and FCCA Chairman, Albino di Lorenzo; President of Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Michele Paige and Director of Commercial Homeport Operations, Carnival Cruise Line, Carlos Estrada.

Junior Tourism Minister to spearhead return of Dolphin Discovery

According to Premier Fahie, the Junior Minister for Tourism, Honourable Shareen D. Flax- Charles (AL) has been tasked with realising the return of Dolphin Discovery.

“She (Hon Flax-Charles) has already brought all the players to the table, discussions have been had and the leg work is being completed, led by her, and being over looked by the Premier’s Office so that should be something that should be signed within the next two months or so, I should say, and then works would be started, so that won't be open until next year.”

Premier Fahie said a new Board is in place for the Prospect Reef Management Company Limited so that the contractual arrangements could be finalised. “They should hopefully be signing the new agreement because Hurricane Irma was the only reason they had to leave. Now we are building negotiations to have them back because most of the cruise liners and their guests and passengers have insisted that they want the return of Dolphin Discovery, so we will be working on that.”

Hon Fahie added that the aim is to have the tourist attraction in place for the next height of the cruise tourism season. “That is the 2020 season. It won't catch this season at all [as] there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of repairs to be done.”

According to Hon Fahie, a complete rebuild of the facility would have to take place.

“The whole area where the dolphins were, those areas were repaired so we're glad that we were now able to reach back to this level of collaboration with the owners of this company. They have come back into the BVI. I welcome them and I thank them…because on any given day with the cruise ships that come, around 500 persons on average go and participate in the Dolphin Discovery tour. So this is a significant boost to our cruise liners and it’s welcomed by them.”

17 Responses to “‘Swim with the Dolphins’ to return in 2020”

  • facts (04/10/2019, 16:19) Like (2) Dislike (15) Reply
    good news!!! the business community have confidence
  • animal slavery (04/10/2019, 16:51) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    is acceptable?
  • Fran (04/10/2019, 17:02) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    Umm, Prospect Reef looks like a Hell Hole. Leave the Dolfins where they are.
  • one eye (04/10/2019, 17:27) Like (4) Dislike (18) Reply
    let the dolphins come we need the business
  • Do better BVI (04/10/2019, 22:22) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    There are other ways to make money BVI- come on. Very disappointed people feel that this archaic practice is acceptable. WE DON’T WANT A DOLPHIN PRISON! These animals are often snatched as babies from their mothers for our entertainment! Natures little secrets, more like natures dirty little secrets
  • Two-faced (05/10/2019, 09:47) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    it was ok when they were here before under the previous NDP administration. We weren't hearing nothing from the haters then. Now that this new government is working to have them return to the territory it's all of a sudden a huge problem. If the NDP had fixed up Prospect Reef like they were supposed to then we and those animals would be living good but because they left it a $#!+ hole people now want this government to fix everything. Sick of ayo now. Premier Fahie do what you have to we with you. When the NDP were screwing them silently they were taking it with their mouths shut
    • @twofaced (05/10/2019, 14:15) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      Nothing to do with the government, simply a fresh opportunity to prevent animal cruelty. The VIP are doing a good job so far apart from this idea.
  • terrible (05/10/2019, 14:42) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is Terrible. No better than sea world. This place should be known for its natural beauty, rather than it's cruel, man made selfish tourist attractions.
  • Am i not a man and a brother (05/10/2019, 14:48) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Do not bring back dolphin slavery.
  • Free spirit (05/10/2019, 15:55) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The BVI’s tourism product can only be damaged by “attractions” such as this. We sell ourselves as “Nature’s Little Secrets” but there is nothing of nature in captured animals cruelly exploited for entertainment. The rest of the world is banning these businesses, why is the BVI so determined to pull in the opposite direction.
  • strupz (06/10/2019, 01:26) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    All these comments about animal cruelty, I know for a fact that they never been to the establishment, but quick to talk
    • @strupz (06/10/2019, 13:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      1. The dolphins are snatched as babies from their mothers as babies causing huge distress.

      2. Dolphins travel huge distances every day, imprisoned in a 100 sq ft pen is literally exactly how you would feel if you were imprisoned. Although it sounds like they are probably more intelligent than you so it would actually affect them more.

      3. You do not to visit any prison to know that the inmate would rather be free.

      4. They can not in any way lead a normal life in prison causing great phycological issues to the animal.

  • Queen Mary (06/10/2019, 09:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give the Dolphins their freedom. Having them corralled for the dollar and our entertainment and here ,a placing claiming Naure as its tourist attraction,is very ugly and counterproductive .
    We are better than that..we now know bettter and should do better..Freedom for the dolphind!!!!
  • Bad Idea (06/10/2019, 19:54) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pretty certain DD did not get 500 people a day before hand. Have seen the tour buses that all used to belong to one company take them there. This does not make the people of the BVI money. They imported workers and used all the assets of the family empire that was their local partner. They even made sure the guests could buy food and drink at the attraction rather than go back to the pier park and spread the wealth. How exactly does this benefit the BVI financially? Just I don’t see any of the wealthy BVI family empires (apart from one that built a school) giving back to the community- do you?
  • NezRez (07/10/2019, 10:52) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    When the circus and zoos were proven to have a lot of animal cruelty, I protested in other countries. I live here now and have always protested Dolphin Discovery, so it had nothing to do with which government was in. It is just cruel to have such large creatures being held in a small environment, because they are meant to freely swim the open seas. This is just another circus and zoo so humans can feel good about themselves and make money. Instead of having Dolphins, why not have locals make money too by giving basket weaving lessons, showing them how we make local juices, how we sew and make our dolls, not just sell them only, Give tourist groups a quick oral lesson on how we came to be free and what we used to plant during slavery, so many tourist want to know how we own so much of the land and how they can come here to buy a small piece and the list goes on. Give history lessons about our islands. So tell me why we need to have Dolphins again?
    • ok (13/10/2019, 07:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Can you petition for Branson to let his caged animals go? I am surprise that no one mentioned him in any of the comments above. Bit I am not surprise that you all did not have a petition. Caged animals are caged animals.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.