As the Virgin Islands continues to reopen its borders in a phased manner, there is still no word as to when cruise tourism is likely to resume as, apart from the Virgin Islands Government having to give the go ahead to receive cruise ships, cruise liners are also awaiting word from health authorities in various countries as to when they would be allowed to resume service.
Speaking at a press conference called by Tortola Pier Park Limited (TPPL) on Friday, July 10, 2020, Chief Executive officer of the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park, Mr Vance M. Lewis said no date is yet in hand for the resumption of cruise tourism.
“Essentially they (Cruise liners) are awaiting guidance from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] because the guidance changes based on what we are seeing in the south eastern USA. And so far the guidance has actually changed to push things back,” Mr Lewis said.
Cruise lines await word from CDC
Initially the Cruise Lines International Association had announced a self-imposed deadline of September 15, 2020, for ships sailing out of the USA but, according to Mr Lewis, with the CDC’s initial deadline expiring on July 14, 2020, there will be a new announcement.
“The current CDC deadline expires on the 14th of July, 2020 and they would be reissuing guidance on that. We are waiting on that to see what happens there so they (Cruise liners) are also waiting on that as well.”
Meantime, Mr Lewis said TPPL remains in contact with the Cruise Lines International Association, “Just making sure that we are all on the same page, we all have consistent approach to what we want to do so that visiting passengers are welcomed and are safe and that our local population also remains safe.”
Mr Lewis stressed that the sharing of ideas is integral and ongoing, “We’ve found a very receptive partner in the cruise lines at the moment.”