By Dana Niland
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands is extending its gratitude to its cruise and airline partners for their Hurricane Irma relief efforts, the territory announced in a statement.
Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty thanked the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises for providing transportation and for delivering needed supplies.
“I would like to extend an incredible thank you to the FCCA for being there to answer our call, as well as the member lines who played a major part in our evacuation efforts, and for bringing important relief assistance to our residents, ” she said. “The cruise industry has proven to be our partners in good times and true friends in times of need.”
The Norwegian Sky departed St. Thomas on Tuesday, September 12 and arrived in Miami early Friday, September 15.
Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas departed St. Thomas on Wednesday, September 13 and arrived the following day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The commissioner also thanked Delta Air Lines for operating a humanitarian flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas, bringing in recovery supplies and carrying out U.S. citizens to Detroit, including those with urgent medical needs.
The government also expressed gratitude towards JetBlue Airways and United Airlines for performing similar relief flights.
“We believe the majority of visitors have now departed St. Thomas and St. John and we are working feverishly to establish the number of accommodation options available to house relief workers as we work on rebuilding the district,” said Nicholson-Doty, who promised St. Thomas and St. John will build back stronger and better.
She thanked members of her staff, some of whom suffered significant personal losses, for their work over the past week, along with the many volunteers who have come forward throughout the community.