January 20, 2014 | 12:06 pm | Print
Above: the Disney Dream
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A newly-signed berthing agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line will mean a total of 425,000 passengers setting foot in the British Virgin Islands by mid-2015, according to Premier Dr Orlando Smith.
Each year, Norwegian will guarantee 350,000 passengers, while Disney will guarantee 75,000.
“By signing this berthing agreement, we are demonstrating, as a Territory, that we are moving forward on the road of progress,” Smith said. “The agreement is about the future sustainability of our cruise tourism sector.”
Smith said there was a growing number of British Virgin Islanders and residents who were relying on cruise tourism for their livelihood.
“This agreement marks the first time that we will have a guaranteed number of cruise passengers coming to our shores year round,” he said. “What this really means is 425,000 potential opportunities for BVIslanders with entrepreneurial spirits.”
Both lines will have preferential berthing rights for requested dates for berthing or docking at the cruise pier.
“We are laying the foundation for growth not only in cruise tourism, but in our tourism economy generally,” Smith said.