Various news sources are reporting that Carnival Cruise Line has decided to cancel calls to in Road Town, Tortola beginning in 2014. According to an article by the Virgin Islands Platinum News, the reason stated in for Carnival’s decision was that the BVI Port Authority was unable to confirm available berthing dates for the 2015 – 2016 cruise season as a result of ongoing negotiations with the government and both Norwegian Cruise Line & Disney Cruise Line.
Mark Vanterpool, Minister of Communications and Works told BVI Platinum News that once the agreements are finalized Disney Cruise Line would be sailing to Tortola beginning in January 2015 with an estimated 24 calls. Norwegian would being calling on Tortola year round in October 2014. Vanterpool mentioned that the two cruise lines would bring about 450,000 passengers to the port with a per head tax of $15, but the agreement hinges on the extension of the Road Town Cruise Pier. He stated in another article that DCL and NCL will going to have the majority of the bookings for the pier in 2015 and beyond.
Tortola Pier Project Scuttled
We previously reported that Disney and Norwegian were working with an Orlando based company to overhaul the pier area in Road Town. However, those plans appear to have been scuttled along with the partnership with the Tortola Pier Partners. In an open letter posted on the government website, Orlando Smith, Premier of the British Virgin Islands acknowledges that the rebuilding of the cruise tourism market is crucial for the local economy. Although, the previous plan, which involved the BVI leasing the land to the Tortola Pier Partners will not see the light of day, the Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to expanding the pier and developing the adjacent land to rebuild the cruise tourism market.
Based upon today’s news it seems like plans for Disney Cruise Line to add Tortola as a port of call beginning in 2015 are close to becoming a reality. Have you cruised to Tortola?