ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Virgin Islands (VI) is expecting its first official cruise ship call since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, on July 1, 2021, according to information coming out of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA).

The BVITB said the Celebrity Millennium of the Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Cruises will return on the first day of July 2021, according to a release today, June 25, 2021.

Plans finalised today 

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), during a press conference early today, had indicated there were no set dates for the return of ships; however, the BVIPA release noted that the plans were finalised today.

“The Vessel is homeporting out of St Maarten and the celebrity Millennium will be calling at the cruise pier in Road Town. Its regional itinerary includes stop in Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados,” the release said.

“The BVIPA and the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park (CBRTPP) teams have been working diligently with the Ministry of Health and Social Development, BVI Tourist Board, local cruise agents, and the cruise lines to ensure a healthy return to cruising.”

According to the information, Celebrity Millennium pre-boarding requirements call for guests over 16 years of age to be fully vaccinated along with vaccination of crew.

Strict COVID-19 Guidelines in place 

“Additionally, testing, pre-screening and embarkation measures are in place along with other onboard mitigation measures to ensure the health and safety of communities the ship visits as well as its guests and crew,” the release said.

Meanwhile, the BVITB noted that the resumption of cruise calls will not function as it did pre-pandemic. According to the protocols, cruise ship operators calling on the island will also be required to have fully vaccinated passengers and crew.

“For a cruise ship to call on the Territory, there are certain conditions that must be met. Guests and crew must meet vaccination requirements and travelers must submit a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the vessel,” the BVITB said.

Physical distancing in place 

While on land, cruise travelers must adhere to existing BVI public health protocols such as wearing face masks by guests and crew in public and communal settings and physical distancing of 6 feet.

The BVIPA said physical distancing requirements must be adhered to on both embarkation and disembarkation for on-island and sea-based excursions, including hand washing and sanitising, must be easily available during disembarkation and excursions.


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