Above: Seabourn Odyssey in Charlotte Amalie on Friday
By the Caribbean Journal staff
When the Seabourn Odyssey cruise ship arrived in St Thomas on Friday, it was the first non-relief vessel to berth in the US Virgin Islands since Sept. 17, before Hurricane Irma.
Indeed, St Thomas’ cruise industry is rebounding quite quickly from the impact of Hurricane Irma.
Between from Nov. 3 to Nov. 30, a total of more than 25 cruise ships will call on Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Ships planning to dock in St Thomas include Norwegian Gem, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette.
“Welcoming cruise visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands is a key element of our plan to boost economic activity, generate employment and stimulate recovery efforts,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, US Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism, underscoring that as the recovery and construction economy kicks into higher gear, including important work to enhance the islands’ hotel product over the next year, it was important to get the cruise component of the economy moving forward.
Nicholson-Doty said the USVI had been working with partners like FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers to ready itself for the “phased” return of tourism to the destination.