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UPDATE: Big ships will return by end of 1st quarter of 2018 – Hon Vanterpool

Marella Discovery in port in Road Town, Tortola yesterday, December 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Passengers of Marella Discovery set off on a safari tour of Tortola today, December 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Passengers of Marella Discovery set off on a safari tour of Tortola today, December 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Marella Discovery is the first cruise ship to call to the Virgin Islands since Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. Photo: VINO
Marella Discovery is the first cruise ship to call to the Virgin Islands since Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) said that the usual bigger cruise ships that frequented the territory prior to the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, are not likely to return before the end of the first quarter of 2018.

The Minister made this announcement to reporters while at a meet and greet welcome session on December 6, for the cruise ship Marella Discovery at the territory’s cruise pier and park on Tortola.

“We are obviously working hard to prepare even better for the bigger ships which bring about 5000 passengers, we thought it would be a good thing to work with the smaller ships first over the next couple of weeks, month or two and then by the end of the first quarter next year we believe we would be ready for the bigger ships, the bigger numbers were we would have the other beaches opened; Cane Garden Bay, Brewers Bay, and some of the other amenities on some of the other sister islands that when the bigger ships come we can welcome them in a bigger way.”

Territory is back & ready for business

Echoing sentiments that have drawn criticisms of Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) who controversially said the Virgin Islands is “back on its feet and open for business”, Hon Vanterpool said the return of cruise lines to Tortola is a symbol that the territory is back and ready for business.

“We are very happy this cruise line came in today. It’s a good symbol that we are back and ready for business in the cruise industry. There are what we call a smaller ship load now. It used to be a big ship months ago. It’s 1800 passengers, 750 crew and we are glad that they are here.

“We are happy that not only today but tomorrow another ship is coming in – a sister ship to this one and in two weeks time they are coming back,” added Hon Vanterpool.

Additionally, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), along with several other government officials and members of the the BVI Tourist Board, was on hand to welcome the first cruise ship to berth at Tortola as the tourist season kicks start.

There were also exchanging of gifts by Premier and the cruise ship captain.

Still a beautiful place

Captain of the cruise ship Mr Hugh Maynard said Marella plans to make frequent calls on Tortola for the rest of the winter tourist season.

“This place is still a beautiful destination despite the devastation from the hurricane. Many of our tourists are happy to be away from the cold and honestly we are sure they will have a memorable stay here in the BVI,” said Captain Maynard.

Meanwhile, the taxi and livery operators were reportedly instructed to direct the passengers to Long Bay, Beef Island and to avoid the world famous Cane Garden Bay Beach due to the state of the road and the beach itself.

See previous article published December 6, 2017

Marella Discovery! First cruise ship to VI since hurricanes Irma & Maria

Many were pleasantly surprised and overjoyed to see a cruise ship in the port in Road Town, Tortola this morning, December 6, 2017, exactly three months after Hurricane Irma assaulted the Virgin Islands.

The Marella Discovery, belonging to Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises), is expected to be welcomed by Government Officials, including Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL).

There have been concerns about receiving cruise ships to the Virgin Islands due to the state of some roads and beaches. It is unclear if taxi and livery operators have been instructed where to and where not to take passengers.

It was on December 4, 2017 that Disney Cruise Line announced to its booked customers that they will be returning to the Eastern Caribbean, but with a slightly altered itinerary, a story first reported by this news site.

VI continues to recover

“Tortola, British Virgin Islands continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. As a result, DCL will alter the ports of call for the Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean beginning with the December 30th sailing through March to include Philipsburg, St Maarten, instead of Tortola, British Virgin Islands,” the letter to its customers read.

According to, pre-reserved Port Adventures in Tortola will automatically be removed from guests’ cruise activities. DCL encourages guests to explore Port Adventure opportunities in Philipsburg, St Maarten, by visiting DCL’s My Cruise Activities section of the website once the reservation is paid in full and within the Castaway Club level booking window.

As it stands, the next scheduled Disney Cruise to Tortola will be the April 7, 2018 departure of the Disney Fantasy.

More details to follow on the port of call of Marella Discovery.

See link to related article:

14 Responses to “UPDATE: Big ships will return by end of 1st quarter of 2018 – Hon Vanterpool”

  • ... (06/12/2017, 09:11) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    this is one of them with people that do not spend money
  • Just Woke (06/12/2017, 09:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's a good start..
  • Good Job Premier. A suggestion. (06/12/2017, 10:18) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Nice... Good Job Premier. We will be back bigger and better.. I would like to see Trellis bay developed as a second option to Cane Garden Bay for Cruise ship passengers. Trellis Bay has a lot of potential..Designate a certain area for swimming the area between Jeremy's and Loose mangoose is good for swimming, I've been there looking at it and the water is nice and clean. Move the last resort Dock little closer to Scrub Dock to get more water space... This is a much better option than brandy wine bay, give tourist something a little different experience..
    • brad boynes. (06/12/2017, 11:22) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Ok but do you think that you would influence the Premier with this? They listen to a chosen few in this place.
    • wize up (07/12/2017, 06:25) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ good job premier: now that a positive some things and more of we should follow: offer up some suggestions rather than the finger point just preaching doom and gloom: some out there can run their own households but think governments business is something easy: the truth be told this place have more issues than money and it takes money not talk to correct problems. As a matter of fact I left hight school 40 year and issue back then still right here: residents and citizens(the tax payers) should offer up solutions for the betterment of this place: some politicians forgetting this is their country 2 because dem out there playing to much dumb @$$ politics(just to get reelected or run government)....the BVI will rise again and need your positive vibes be you NDP or VIP(it's 1 BVI)
  • @ Brad Boynes. Agreed (06/12/2017, 11:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They already said they dont read bloggs. The suggestion isn't a bad one. Doesn't hurt to suggest. Thats a positive approach. Social media is our only oitlet.
  • wize up (06/12/2017, 15:26) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am shocked not to see the usual opening to this story(the that speak about dr smith) people of the VI we just went through a devastating hurricane season so common sense should let us know that all will not be well however those among us using the devastation to score political points rather than taking time to see how best all of us can work hand in hand for the benefit of this territory(just saying) put down the NDP and the VIP until campaign season but our hands to the plough some with solutions instead of old political talk
  • PlsNoPolitics (06/12/2017, 16:31) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am not a Taxi driver , I do work directly in the Service Indudtry. I am not a Politician I am just a normal citizen who wants the best for this territory. Lately i have rediscovered the beauty of these Islands..during sunset and sunrise or during full moon.but one of the most memorable sight post Irma was the appearance of this ship over the horizen this morning. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I felt so much hope!!!. I have seen many arrivals but this one was special. We take so many things for granted!!!. I know that we are far away from what could be deemed recovery but this remind me that we are getting there. A HEART felt thank you to the visitors . THANKS for choosing us !!!
    • Positive (07/12/2017, 08:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Finally, a comment not filled with negativity.
    • Cane Bay..Rep (07/12/2017, 08:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mitch I rsspect you for speaking your mind. For speaking your conscience anx representing your people, However, Cane Garden Bay is not the only beach.. I think Kedrick had the right idea in developing another beach. Brandy Wine Bay wasn't that location. Se wasted too much tax payers money on Brandy wine Bay. Time to conceed. Let it go. Mitch its time you and Alvera give serious thought to switching party.. Preserve u all seat and possibly a ministry..
  • Hmm (07/12/2017, 07:41) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I saw some yesterday. They didn't look happy. Yes we want tourism dollars but we are risking the very same tourist happiness
  • Good News. (07/12/2017, 08:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Keep working Mark. We will be back bigger and better.. Look at Trellis Bag as an option. Infrastructure already there. Just needed cleaning up.. organize and a manage public restroom..
  • wow (07/12/2017, 09:51) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Minister stop telling tales! The lines are the ones that pulled out despite your constant begging. Dont make it seem as if govt delayed the bigger ships because its a LIE. The ships are the ones that said they are not coming because we are not ready.

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