Several Cruise Lines Forego Calls in Frederiksted

U.S. Virgin Island officials and Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association executives met recently to address the issue of cruise safety, but meanwhile, at least four U.S.-based cruise lines have pulled ships from calls at St. Croix.

By: Laura L. Myers

U.S. Virgin Island officials and Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association executives met recently to address the issue of cruise safety, but meanwhile, at least four U.S.-based cruise lines have pulled ships from calls at St. Croix.

New cruise port safety measures under implementation by U.S.V.I. tourism officials will include increased police presence and surveillance dock-area cameras in Frederiksted, and increased advertising and incentive programs focusing on St. Croix, said Henry “Skip” de Lagarde, the U.S.V.I. Department of Tourism’s North American general manager.

In mid-July, Holland America announced cancellation of three St. Croix port calls by its new Zuiderdam ship during the upcoming 2002/2003 Caribbean season. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises also have canceled St. Croix calls.

Carnival Cruise Lines canceled 52 port calls by its Triumph and Victory vessels, while Norwegian Cruise Line substituted a stop in Tortola instead.

“Each (FCCA) member line monitors the ports where they bring their most precious cargo their passengers and therefore each line from time to time makes operational decisions to add or eliminate ports of call,” FCCA President Michele Paige told TravelAge West.

FCCA members “asked us to generate additional demand for St. Croix,” de Lagarde said. “Cruise business is driven by demand, and they want us to create additional demand for St. Croix and to assure visitor safety.”

From May 2001 to May of this year, the destination posted an 8.9% decline in cruise passengers.

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