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Tourism Wants St. Croix Substituted For Cuba On Cruise Ship Itineraries

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands government says it is working closely with the cruise lines to help them as they rework their itineraries following the U.S. government’s renewed restrictions on travel to Cuba.

The State Department said the United States will discontinue allowing visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts.

According to the New York Times, cruises were the most popular means to get to the former vacation destination since 2016, when President Barack Obama reinstated relations with the island. In 2019, from January 1 to April 30, more than 140,000 Americas traveled to Cuba by cruise.

Recently, Royal Caribbean modified some of its itineraries in conjunction with the new regulations. Royal Caribbean said that it is creating alternate itineraries for 2020 sailings and that they will be unveiled to guests and travel agents as they become available. 

Joseph Boschulte, the V.I. Commissioner of Tourism designee, said that since news of the policy shift, the ports of the Virgin Islands have offered inconvenienced cruise passengers the opportunity to visit the territory, including the less-busy cruise destination of St. Croix.

Boschulte said the ports of the territory will look at the effects of the new policy and navigate solutions with cruise lines at next week’s Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Conference, taking place in Sint Maarten.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

1 Comment

  1. NewIslander
    June 10, 2019 at 8:21 AM — Reply

    It’s all good until the lights go out because the USVI isn’t paying its WAPA bills.

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