(PLTM) - BVIPA - Tortola, British Virgin Islands, 22 January 2024 – The British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA) proudly announces a major achievement in its maritime operations, with a record-breaking number of cruise passenger arrivals throughout the entirety of 2023. This accomplishment not only underscores the strategic significance of the BVI Ports Authority but also solidifies its position as a key player in the region.
In a notable expansion of operations, the BVI Ports Authority facilitated not only a remarkable increase in cruise ship arrivals at the main cruise pier in Road Harbour, Tortola but also a notable rise in calls to the sister islands. Particularly, the BVI Ports Authority has experienced a surge in visits from smaller, luxury cruise vessels and new cruise lines showcasing the diversified capabilities of the Harbours and Ports and the appeal of the entire BVI archipelago.
Throughout the year, the BVI Ports Authority witnessed an influx of cruise ships, breaking the previous annual record and highlighting the Territory’s increasing prominence as a preferred destination for international cruise liners. The efficient handling of cruise vessels and the reliability of BVI's port facilities played a crucial role in attracting and accommodating the heightened volume of arrivals.
The BVI Ports Authority is excited to announce an increase in manifested cruise passenger arrivals, reaching 720,392 in 2023 compared to 343,571 in 2022—an outstanding surge of 110%. This also surpasses the highest recorded arrivals of 2016 at 699,105.
In 2023, the Territory witnessed a total of 354 cruise calls, with 232 taking place at the Cruise Pier compared to 2022’s total of 263 calls. A total of 122 anchorage calls across the Territory are recorded for 2023; 9 at Road Harbour, 56 at Jost Van Dyke, 38 at Virgin Gorda, and 19 at other locations. This achievement stands as a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the BVI Ports Authority team, alongside local Cruise Agents, highlighting successful strategic collaborations and the seamless management of cruise vessel arrivals, docking, and departures.
In response to this milestone, Minister of Communication and Work responsible for Ports, Honourable Kye Rymer noted that "The Authority's achievements transcend the enhancement of the Territory's economic standing through business expansion and job creation. They also cement its status as a dependable and appealing port, both regionally and globally. This success is not merely a result of internal efforts but is also a testament to the steadfast dedication demonstrated through strategic collaborations with key partners like the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and the ongoing reinforcement of ties with cruise industry partners. These strategic relationships play an important role in contributing significantly to the overall accomplishments of the Authority.”
Mr. Akeem Pickering, Managing Director of the BVIPA, expressed appreciation for the efforts that contributed to this achievement. "The record-breaking cruise passenger arrivals in 2023 demonstrates the BVI Ports Authority's commitment to operational excellence, maritime efficiency and strategic collaboration with local and international cruise stakeholders. Our facilities, dedicated team and industry relationships have played a pivotal role in accommodating the increased traffic, demonstrating our capability to handle the demands of a thriving cruise industry."
The BVI Ports Authority looks forward to building on this success, continuing to enhance maritime operations, and further solidifying its reputation as a premier cruise port facility in the Caribbean and beyond.