Saturday, August 20, 2022

What Cruise Line Goes To Virgin Islands

Don't Miss

Review Of Virgin Voyages

GoPro: Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands Disney Cruise Line

Virgin Voyages is a new cruise line company headquartered in Plantation . Virgin Voyages was created as a joint venture between Virgin Group Ltd and Bain Capital LP , with the latter having a majority shareholding. The establishment of Virgin Cruises was announced by Virgin Group on December 4, 2014. The new cruise line is scheduled to start operations in 2020.

First Cruise Ship Docks At Bvi In 15 Months But Controversy Reigns Over Beach Rights

ROAD TOWN, Tortola The British Virgin Islands welcomed its first cruise ship in 15 months when Royal Caribbeans Celebrity Millennium docked at the Cyril B. Romney Pier Park with 414 passengers.

It was a far cry from the normal capacity of over 2,000 passengers, but a welcome sight after months of non-activity following the pandemic, as first reported in the Virgin Islands Daily News.

BVI Ports Authority Security Manager Dave Smith described the feeling of many in the territory shortly after witnessing the cruise ship slowly pulling in around 8 a.m.

Its an exciting time, because we havent seen ships in over a year. It was really a happy time for me seeing the ship coming around the corner and coming in to the port, Smith told The Daily News.Now were sitting here and seeing all the passengers coming off the port and you see them going to their different tour vessels and taxis. So, its a really good time.

Smith said that John Samuel, one of three BVI pilots that include Shaun Durante and Jameel Vanterpool of Virgin Gorda, helped bring the ship to the port.

Anything coming into our waters, using our channel and our facility its our responsibilitywe cant leave it up to the ship and make an error then blame us for it, he explained. So let us make the error and we are fully responsible and thats pretty much what the pilot does.

He added that people tend to think that the ship is following the pilot boat but thats not the case at all.

Is There A Cruise To The Us Virgin Islands

Cruises that visit the U.S. Virgin Islands pull into port in St. Thomas. From there, you can explore other islands in the archipelago that are just a boat excursion away. In addition, cruises that visit St. Thomas also often visit the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and other Eastern Caribbean islands.

Recommended Reading: What Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Mobile Alabama

What Youneed To Know

  • Port Name & LocationShip will DOCK at this port.
  • Time ZoneUTC/GMT -4 hours
  • LanguageThe local language is English, Spanish and French. Say “hello” in Spanish: “hola” or in French: “bonjour.”
  • Currency & ShoppingDuty-free shopping, rum cake and jewelry. Port Shopping Guide.
    • Best Way to Get AroundOrganized Shore Excursions for turtle cove, catamaran, snorkelling, beaches, butterfly gardens and more! Taxis and rental car available.
    • Famous ForKnown for its beaches, fishing, snorkelling and shopping. St. Thomas is the gateway island to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
    • Fun Fact #1The U.S. Virgin Islands are the only place in the U.S. where you drive on the left side of the road.
    • Fun Fact #2St. Thomas is also known as the “Rock City,” a name given by the locals for its hilly terrain.

Which Is The Best Cruise To Visit Stthomas

More Problems Aboard Carnival Cruise Ships

Cruises that visit St. Thomas offer some of the best photo opportunities in the Caribbean. Thats why a Carnival cruise to the Virgin Islands tops many folks vacation wish lists. Seafarers from around the globe have flocked to the sheltered harbors of St. Thomas since pirates sailed these seas. Today, cruises to St.

Also Check: How Much Does An Alaskan Cruise Cost

Virgin Cruises’ Private Island Resort Bimini Beach Club

The liner Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship to stop at “Bimini Beach Club” . The exclusive destination allows Virgin’s Sailors to enjoy world-class entertainment from a rotating cast of DJs led by Mark Ronson. Virgin’s Bimini Beach Club offers premium food with locally sourced ingredients and traditional Bahamian favourites like banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, conch and mango salad, Bahamian rum cake. The complex has 6 bars, outdoor lounge areas with hammock groves, beach loungers, watersport activities, private poolside and beach-side cabanas for rent.

RockStar Suite passengers benefit from complimentary food service, exclusive bar and outdoor terrace lounge, VIP beach cabanas. The 7-mile long island offers extraordinary activities like boating, snorkelling, wreck diving. The partially sunk wreck of SS Sapona is located just a few miles off island’s southern coast.

Virgin’s private resort is located on North Bimini Island and at a short bus transfer from the docking pier. It was built via partnership with Resorts World Bimini. This is a 750-acres beachfront resort-casino-marina-hotel complex operated by Genting Group . North Bimini is approx 68 km east of Miami. Resort’s building cost is USD 220 million. Virgin’s Bimini Beach Club overlooks the sea and features a large lagoon-style swimming pool. The “resort experience” also features morning open-air exercises , afternoon DJ poolside parties, night beach bonfires and live musical performances.

Are Cruise Ships Going To The Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands cruise industry has relaunched. This week, Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to visit the USVI since the onset of the pandemic, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That will include Royal Caribbeans Allure of the Seas on July 29 Celebrity Equinox in St Croix on Aug.

Also Check: Which Cruise Lines Depart From New York

Viking Orion Arrival Marks Continuing Return Of Cruise Ships To Usvi

The VikingOrion docked at The West Indian Company Limited port at 7:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 30, as part of its 15-day West Indies Treasures cruise, which stops in nine destinations.

It is a pleasure to welcome Viking Orion to the U.S. Virgin Islands, said WICO President and CEO Anthony Ottley. We have a safe, exciting and excellent in-port experience to offer her passengers, and we look forward to a relationship that goes from strength to strength, he said.

At 745 feet, the small-ship class vessel carries up to 930 guests, all of whom are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Its arrival in St. Thomas marks the continued return of cruise ships to the territory after a 15-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise lines began returning in July 2021.

USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte continues to be optimistic about long-term forecasts for the eventual return of cruise ship arrivals to the territory. Slowly, but surely, we will get back to our pre-pandemic numbers, and were so grateful to our cruise partners for working with us to help us get there. Were glad to see St. Thomas is still a top destination for cruise passengers, and we look forward to continuing to improve our cruise product, he said.

Top Food And Drink Spots Near The Tortola Cruise Port

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Via Carnival cruise

The British Virgin Islands has an array of dining options with Caribbean flair and flavors. Here are some of the top places at which to eat during BVI cruises.

Bananakeet Cafe

If you have time in port to catch the sunset, this is a great place to do so thanks to its incredible sea and mountain views. Arrive early to take advantage of happy hour and get a good sunset viewing spot. The cuisine served here is Caribbean fusion with a strong emphasis on seafood, including the local Anegada conch. Try the free sundowner shot for a fun way to celebrate the gorgeous sunset.

Brandywine Estate

Located on picturesque Brandywine Bay, the Brandywine Estate features a romantic outdoor patio with views overlooking the sea and nearby islands. The cuisine is inspired by the Mediterranean and is constantly changing. The restaurant was beautifully reconstructed after being heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma and is open for diners again to enjoy its fabulous views and cuisine.

Capriccio di Mare

If you want something more casual to eat during your British Virgin Islands cruise, this is a great Italian café serving espresso, pastries, pizza, and pasta. You can also get a Bellini or other cocktail to enjoy from the onsite bar if youre looking for something heavier than a cappuccino.

Sugar Mill Restaurant

You May Like: Mobile Al Cruises 2016

Passenger Shipping Pause 2020

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, in March 2020 Virgin Voyages postponed the brand’s inauguration for July 15th , with the inaugural cruise departing on August 7th from Miami. The ship’s originally planned maiden voyage was on March 29, 2020 .

All the scheduled between March 26-August 7th departures were canceled. In mid-May 2020 were canceled 15 additional departures . The 4-night “Richard Branson’s 70th Birthday Cruise” was rescheduled for July 14, 2021. In late-September 2020 were canceled all Scarlet Lady’s November itineraries, and in late-October – the remaining departures. The brand’s inauguration was rescheduled for 2021 . In mid-December were cancelled more itineraries.

The brand’s inauguration was rescheduled for August 6, 2021 . Valiant Lady’s inaugural cruise program was also postponed and revised.

All affected bookings were provided with the option to cancel with a 125% refund plus 25% in FCC or rebook with 200% refund in FCC. As a promo offer, all bookings made by June 30, 2020, received up to USD 500 per person in OBC . A full monetary refund was optional for cancellations made between May 21-December 31, 2020.

All rebookings made with the 200% FCC were fully refunded and additionally received 25% in FCC . Virgin Voyages also introduced the “Smooth Sailing Program” which allows for itineraries in 2020 the final payment dates to be moved to 60 days prior departure. Smooth Sailing also allows cancellations up to 48 hours with receiving a full refund in FCC.

Itinerary Of Virgin Voyages

In 2016, Virgin cruise line’s itinerary program was not detailed yet, but Branson mentioned one destination that was on the list – the Caribbean. When asked about Cuba being a potential port destination, he immediately replied “Yes!”. This also meant roundtrip departures from a Florida port.

In 2017 was announced that the first Virgin cruise ship will be initially homeported in PortMiami for 7-day Caribbean itineraries departing on Sundays. During the inaugural season 2020-2021, the liner was scheduled to visit Cuba. The company’s decision was influenced by conducted customer and travel agency research in the UK and North America. All Virgin cruises to Cuba had to offer an overnight stay in Havana, allowing passengers to explore the country’s capital and its unique nightlife.

  • 5-day “Mayan Sol” itinerary visits Havana and Costa Maya . In Mexico, shore excursions include scuba diving and Mayan ruins.
  • 5-day “Dominican Daze” itinerary visits Havana and Puerto Plata where shore tours include trekking, surfing, shopping.

The second Virgin ship is homeported in Miami during 2022-2023 winter season.

Virgin Voyages passengers benefit from an impressive variety of cruises to choose from in the inaugural 2020 season of the line’s new build. The 4- or 5-night “Havana After Dark” itineraries allow Sailors to explore the Cuban culture and include an overnight stay in Cuba’s capital city.

All Virgin Caribbean cruises visit Bimini Bahamas as a private island destination.

Recommended Reading: What Cruise Lines Leave Out Of New Orleans

Popular Shore Excursions In The Virgin Islands

Utilize your time in the Caribbean with Virgin Island cruise excursions that whisk you away to some of the most beautiful beaches and attractions the islands have to offer.

Magens Bay

The half-moon shaped coastline of Magens Bay in St. Thomas is consistently named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With lush, green foliage directly behind the sandy beach, and vibrantly blue water in front, its no wonder this is a top shore excursion during a Virgin Islands cruise.

Buck Island Reef

Located near St. Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument is an island paradise that includes the entire 176-acre island of Buck Island as well as the surrounding water that extends for over 18,000 acres. Take a snorkeling shore excursion there and explore the underwater museum.

The Baths in Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. is beloved for its natural beauty and perhaps nowhere encapsulates this as well as the baths in British Virgin Islands National Park. This series of baths are formed by rock formations next to the coast that you hike between for swims and views during Virgin Gorda excursions.

Carnival Cruises To The Virgin Islands

Tortola Cruise Port

Known as the fun ships, the Carnival Cruise line appeals to a wide variety of travelers, from couples to singles to families. Whether you want to do nothing but relax, or crave a full calendar from sun up to sun down, activities abound both onboard the ships and at the many port cities Carnival visits around the world. Not many other trips allow you to visit several Virgin Islands all in one trip with Carnival, you can sail to St. Thomas and St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands and Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands.

Tip

  • In the fall of 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria created immense damage across the Virgin Islands. Most of the islands’ attractions have been repaired, but some activities or sites may still be restricted due to hurricane damage, so be sure to check before you go.

Don’t Miss: What Cruise Lines Leave From Mobile Alabama

St Thomas Cruiseimage Gallery

  • Aerial view of St. Thomas
  • Sapphire Beach
  • Magens Bay, acclaimed as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world by National Geographic Society
  • Coki beach
  • Lyretail anthias on a coral reef
  • Shopping in St. Thomas
  • Get ready for unforgettable fun filled marine life adventure
  • Norwegian Getaway cruising St. Thomas

Top Things To Do In Tortola

Explore Road Town

Take a guided tour of Road Town or explore it on your own to see the top sites of this colorful capital city. The streets of Road Town are lined by candy-colored buildings housing bars, shops, restaurants, and markets. The picturesque harbor is a popular yachting hub and will likely have you dreaming of owning a boat someday.

Virgin Gorda Baths

The Baths of Virgin Gorda are a gorgeous stretch of coastline lined with huge boulders. These massive rocks create pockets of seawater by tiny white sand beaches. It makes for an exhilarating excursion to hike between the different baths.

Water Sports on Cane Garden Bay

Cane Garden Bay is a great place to do watersports since its sheltered from high winds due to the curve of the bay. You can go swimming and snorkeling or rent equipment for windsurfing, paddleboarding, or other watersports.

Hike in Sage Mountain National Park

Sage Mountain National Park is home to Sage Mountain, the highest point in the British Virgin Islands. You can hike one of the 12 looped trails, which go through beautiful rainforests.

You May Like: How To Find Last Minute Cruises

Culture & History Of The Tortola Cruise Port

The British Virgin Islands were formed by volcanic activity, which contributed to its mountainous terrain. The islands were first inhabited by the Arawak, an indigenous tribe, until the 15th century when Caribs took over the island. Christopher Columbus documented seeing the islands on his expedition to the region in 1493, and eventually the Spanish Empire took claim of the islands in the 16th century. Later, the Dutch took hold of the islands and established a permanent settlement on Tortola in the 1600s and held onto the islands until 1682, when the British conquered the island of Tortola and later annexed the other islands in the archipelago.

Today, your British Virgin Islands cruise will take you to islands that have British influence while still maintaining an island charm all their own. The two main components of the economy in the BVI are tourism and offshore financial services.

Tortola Port Facilities & Location

Your British Virgin Islands cruise ship will dock in the city of Road Town on the island of Tortola. The cruise terminal is conveniently located next to Tortola Pier Park, which is an 80,000-square-foot area that includes 50 different shops and restaurants. For those wanting to explore Road Town on foot, its a short walk to get to the city center.

Us Virgin Island Cruise Ports

Norwegian ESCAPE Caribbean Cruise (Day 5 – Tortola, BVI)

Cruises that visit the U.S. Virgin Islands pull into port in St. Thomas. From there, you can explore other islands in the archipelago that are just a boat excursion away. In addition, cruises that visit St. Thomas also often visit the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and other Eastern Caribbean islands.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Recommended Reading: What Cruise Lines Leave From Cape Liberty Nj

Helpful Tips Before You Go

No matter what time of year youre exploring these islands youre likely to have warm weather and some sunshine.

To increase the percentage of experiencing sunshine and lower your chances of getting rained on, visit during the winter months of December to February or early spring. There still may be scattered showers occasionally so its always wise to stick a rain poncho in your daypack when traveling around the Caribbean.

Youll have multiple ship options to choose from when selecting a cruise to the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands are easily accessible from popular Caribbean cruise embarkation ports and are common ports of call, meaning different ships sailing a variety of itineraries will go to one of these islands.

Coastal And Shopping Bliss On A Us Virgin Island Cruise

The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Youll also find exotic national parks, epic shopping, and adventurous activities. Here are some of the things to see and do in the U.S. Virgin Islands that you wont want to miss during your cruise there.

Beaches and Bays

The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to picturesque bays that are lined by beaches. Many of those beaches cozy up to mangrove trees, providing an exotic setting that will put you into full-on vacation mode. The U.S.V.Is beaches will also lull you into relaxation with their golden and white sands.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Off the shores of the beaches of the U.S. Virgin Islands are excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. The U.S. Virgin Islands is even home to an underwater museum you can snorkel through! Plus, youll find dive sites for all skill levels, and clear visibility thanks to tranquil, aquamarine water.

Shopping and Sips

St. Thomas has some of the best duty-free shopping in the world. Charlotte Amalie is lined with boutiques and souvenir shops. On the island of St. John, browse through the shops in Cruz Bay to find some local artisan crafts. After you shop, grab a drink at one of the laid back beach bars.

Recommended Reading: What Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Mobile Alabama

More articles

Popular Articles