In the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is set to post 595,000 passengers for the year, up from 516,436 last year, according to Meslyn Allen, leasing and marketing manager for Tortola Pier Park Ltd.
Allan told Cruise Industry News that projections for 2017 call for 695,606, another hefty increase.
Meanwhile, the 2016-2017 season began October 18 with P&O’s Aurora and ends in May with an expected 553,962 passengers and 11 new calls.
Two large ships can berth alongside the new cruise facility in Tortola and another two ships anchor. Last season the port accommodate three ships on one day and around 9,000 passengers.
The enhanced port was officially opened on Feb. 16, 2016 and features retail stores, restaurants and cafes, offices and various services.
“We have a passenger mix from North America and Europe,” Allan noted, “and the Tortola Pier Park is designed to cater to them with a variety of stores, with the majority being local or new concept businesses, which provide a unique experience for the guests. We also offer medical services, free wifi, car rentals and multilingual services to name a few. We currently have, 47 stores operational with a few more to be opened during the next few weeks.”
The Tortola Pier Park is the newest development in the BVI, consisting of the enhanced cruise port and a five-acre landside shopping and service area. The pier is 1,312 feet long and 60 feet wide and can berth ships up to 180,000 tons. The landside will consist of more than 60 stories, service providers and offices when completed.