Officials from the Royal Caribbean Group’s Operations and
Development team met with Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) Executive Director Carlton Dowe, his executive staff, the authority’s financial advisor Frasca and Associates, and VIPA’s outside legal counsel Womble Bond Dickinson.
The group met to prepare for an increase in cruise visitors to Frederiksted, St. Croix, starting in November 2022. The Royal Caribbean Group officials arrived in the territory four days ago and have participated in a series of working meetings with VIPA to lay the groundwork for the increase in passenger arrivals, visit sites frequented by their cruise guests, and finalize the agreement between VIPA and the group.
They are also scheduled to meet with the Bryan/Roach Administration and private sector stakeholders during the first week of September to discuss planned improvements for the cruise industry on St. Croix.
On April 26, at the Seatrade Cruise Global Convention, the Royal Caribbean Group announced the cruise line’s plan to increase cruise passenger volume to St. Croix and St. Thomas. The territory will receive 70 percent more cruise passengers at Crown Bay and two and a half times the number of cruise visitors to St. Croix. This growth is in comparison to pre-pandemic numbers, which were a maximum of 50,000 passengers on St. Croix in 2019. A projected total of approximately 140,000 passengers will visit St. Croix and at least 500,000 is expected for St. Thomas via Royal Caribbean cruise ships this upcoming season.