Come Sunday, June 13, domestic ferry passenger operations will be back at the Road Town Jetty after being temporarily relocated at the C. B. Romney Tortola Pier Park terminal.
The move, while it was announced via a June 9 press release from the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA), is to make way for the return of cruise calls to the international port at the Cyril B. RomneyTortola Pier Park.
Cruise ships are scheduled to return by mid-June.
“Health and safety protocols have been put in place, and structures have been established to ensure the safety of both domestic and international ferry passengers as they utilise the seaport,” the statement said.
In the meantime, the existing schedule remains the same for both domestic and international ferry passenger operations, the release said further.
It added,“The BVI Ports Authority would like to thank the sister-island travellers for their patience and understanding as we adjust ferry operations to safeguard residents and guests of the Virgin Islands during this COVID-19 era.”
This also comes on the heels of a meeting held by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew Fahie with Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) President Ms. Michelle Paige on June 3.
The discourse was centred around the safe return of the cruise industry to the territory, a Government press release said.
“We are not just looking at the return of the ships to the Virgin Islands. But, also about how Virgin Islanders and residents have a stake in the industry through employment with cruise liners and potential entrepreneurial ventures,” Premier Fahie said.
On the other hand, Paige said she was pleased to work with the territory to ensure that the people benefit fully from the return of the cruise ships.
“She said that the FCCA has acknowledged the commitment made by the Premier to put the necessary protocols in place to have the safe resumption of cruise ships to the BVI. As a result, Ms. Paige said the BVI will be one of the first destinations to receive cruise ships. She added that ships will be staying in territories longer to allow passengers to have a more in-depth stay in the Virgin Islands,” the release added.
She also offered a challenge to Virgin Islanders to maximise the benefits that will come as a result of the aforementioned decision and give the tourists a unique experience that captures the territory’s culture, customs and food.
“Happy passengers spend money because those passengers will want to come back time and time again as hotel guests,” Paige remarked.