Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Industry Briefs

Arrival Marks Continued Return of Cruise Business to the Territory  

The U.S. Virgin Islands cruise industry rebound continues with the recent visit of Viking Orion


The Viking Orion cruise ship stopped recently in St. Thomas. 

The Orion docked at The West Indian Company Limited (WICO) port on October 31 as part of its 15-day "West Indies Treasures" cruise, which stops in nine destinations. 

"It is a pleasure to welcome Viking Orion to the U.S. Virgin Islands," said WICO Interim President & CEO Anthony Ottley. "We have a safe, exciting and excellent in-port experience to offer her passengers, and we look forward to a relationship that goes from strength to strength," he added.

At 745 feet, the small-ship class vessel carries up to 930 guests, all of whom are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Its arrival in St. Thomas marks the continued return of cruise ships to the Territory, after a 15-month hiatus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise lines began returning in July 2021.

USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte continues to be optimistic about long-term forecasts for the eventual return of cruise ship arrivals to the Territory. "Slowly but surely we will get back to our pre-pandemic numbers, and we're so grateful to our cruise partners for working with us to help us get there. We're glad to see St. Thomas is still a top destination for cruise passengers, and we look forward to continuing to improve our cruise product," he noted.

The Commissioner recently attended the 35th edition of Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami, where he spoke of the need for broad collaboration to ensure health and safety protocols are met at each stop on every cruise itinerary. Explaining that "one destination does not make an itinerary," the Commissioner urged Caribbean cruise destinations and cruise line partners to work more closely together.

During the gathering of cruise industry stakeholders, representatives of the U.S. Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) and Royal Caribbean Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the cruise industry in the Territory.

Meet Brilliantly