Cruise ships return to St. Thomas Nov. 10, with a call from Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas.
Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty reported Monday that the cruise company will be the first to return to St. Thomas following back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes that impacted the territory last month.
The news follows last week’s visit by Royal Caribbean executives to meet with the territory’s public and private sector stakeholders and see firsthand the island’s port facilities, infrastructure, shopping areas and attractions.
“As we move forward from September’s historic storms, we are laser-focused on improving and enhancing the overall tourism product, and creating an environment that stimulates economic growth and employment for our residents,” Mapp said in a news release, thanking the executive team at Royal Caribbean for its confidence in the government and people of the territory.
The cruise line operated two mercy missions to the territory to help evacuate visitors and residents and bring in supplies. According to Government House, Royal Caribbean has also been helping to restore Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas’ beaches. The cleanup is being done by several government agencies and private organizations and businesses.
“We are very excited to get back home to our friends in St. Thomas. The Caribbean is our family, having cruised there for nearly 50 years, and the long-standing relationships created in all this time are unwavering,” Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley said in the statement.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to help, and proud to support the restoration of the iconic Magens Bay,” Bayley said.
“Welcoming cruise visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands is key to our economic recovery,” Nicholson-Doty said, adding that cruise guests are a significant share of overall visitors.
Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct the date of the Adventure of the Seas’ return to the V.I. The Source regrets the error.