Disney Cruise Line will return to the British Virgin Islands, nearly a year after suspending calls to the territory following last September’s hurricanes.
“We have made significant strides in restoring the islands to normalcy,” Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool said. “We can now state proudly that we are ready to receive the influx of visitors who will come via the major cruise lines, an industry that was extremely viable pre-Irma.”
The Disney Fantasy will call on Tortola beginning Aug. 28, as part of its seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise departing on Sept. 8, 22; Oct. 6 and 27, and on Sept. 7 and 21 and Oct. 5 in 2019.
“Disney is happy to see the great progress being made in the British Virgin Islands, in order to provide a satisfactory and safe guest experience,” said Russell Daya, executive director, marine and port operations, port development and itinerary planning.
Disney Magic’s six-night New York to San Juan sailing in November and the Disney Wonder’s seven-night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan in January are also scheduled to call on Tortola.
Along with Disney, the BVI are actively engaged in discussions with Norwegian Cruise Line and the operations team of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), representing all of the cruise lines visiting the Caribbean. The cruise tourism industry is an important economic driver in the Virgin Islands. Taxis, tour operators, restaurateurs and vendors depend heavily on cruise traffic.
“We have been providing them with regular updates on the clean-up efforts and progress on the restoration of ground transportation and shore excursions on the main islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke,” Vanterpool stated.