354 James Walter Francis Drive
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Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
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The British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA), today announced that since permission was granted for the acceptance of technical calls and warm lay-ups at its seaports, a booking has been accepted. The BVIPA has agreed on conditions to allow Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas berthing at the BVIPA’s cruise pier under strict health and safety rules starting on 11 January 2021 for an initial period of thirty (30) days for a warm lay-up.
Acting Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard noted that: “This is not a regular cruise call, the vessel does not have any guests on board, and it will be berthing exclusively to lay up, refuel, take on provisions and spare parts, and possibly other services.” Maynard further commented that: “Crew members will not be allowed to disembark and there is no access to vessels from shore-based staff during stays in the BVI.” The BVIPA’s cruise pier is a secure zone and persons are not permitted to pass the security gate area which will be manned. Health and safety protocols were also shared with the ship’s agents and cruise line.
Patricia Romney, Director of Operations for Romasco Group had this to say about the upcoming warm lay-up, “As Agents for Royal Caribbean, we are indeed pleased to have two of its vessels calling in Tortola. We are grateful to the Virgin Islands Government for creating a path to assist our cruise partners during these critical times.”
In a detailed presentation to the BVIPA, Royal Caribbean Group explained their hybrid connection plans and other details pertaining to the warm lay-up procedures.
Hernan Zini, the Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Royal Caribbean Group said, “Royal Caribbean Group is grateful and fortunate to have the government and people of the British Virgin Islands welcome our vessels during the pandemic for lay-up so that critical services can be
provided. As we face this challenging time together, our first priority is the health and safety of the communities we visit and our crew members. We all look forward to the day when we can resume sailing and return with our guests to visit the beautiful destination and warm people of the BVI.”
The economic benefits of extending technical calls or warm lay-ups include ships carrying out refueling, repairs and start-up activities in the Territory before they set sail again. The BVIPA believes that maintaining a link with and continuing to service the cruising industry in the safe manner proposed with technical calls/warm lay-ups can be a vital part of the rebooting strategy.
NOTE TO EDITOR(S):
Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas (Photo Credits: Royal Caribbean Group)
ABOUT THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS PORTS AUTHORITY
The BVI Ports Authority is the managing authority for all official seaports within the British Virgin Islands inclusive of the 60.-ft-wide, 1,312-ft.-long cruise pier that can berth ships up to a maximum tonnage of 180,000 GRT. The BVIPA is responsible for the welcoming and safe arrival of seafaring passengers, as well as the reception, handling and security of cargo and sea-based trade.
For more information, please visit www.bviports.org