The first passenger cruise ship which was scheduled to berth in the British Virgin Islands this week has cancelled the rest of its trip due to detection of positive COVID-19 cases.

This was confirmed by Premier Andrew Fahie during a live tourism update on Tuesday June 15.

The premier did not disclose the name of the vessel but said the BVI was the next destination on its list prior to the positive COVID-19 cases.

“I was able to meet recently with many cruise liners in the United States to cement BVI’s position in this industry. The first cruise ship was due to call on the BVI this week. However, due to increased COVID-19 cases at a ‘destination stop’ prior to ours, the cruise liner took the decision to cancel the rest of the cruise,” he stated.

Still on target for more cruises

Premier Fahie, who is also the minister responsible for tourism, reassured residents that despite the small setback, the BVI is still on track to have more cruise vessels in the territory very soon.

He said, “Do rest assured that we are still on target to receive cruise ships in the very near future. More information on this sector of our tourism product will be made available to the public in short order.”

The premier also encouraged stakeholders in the tourism industry to prepare their respective businesses to welcome these cruise ships when they return to the BVI.

Royal Caribbean details COVID situation

While the premier did not disclose the name of the vessel, the Royal Caribbean Group in a recent media release revealed that their cruise ship Celebrity Millennium recorded two positive cases while in the neighbouring island of St. Maarten.

“Two guests sharing a stateroom onboard Celebrity Millennium tested positive for COVID-19 while conducting the required end-of-cruise testing. The individuals are asymptomatic and currently in isolation and being monitored by our medical team. We are conducting contact tracing, expediting testing for all close contacts and closely monitoring the situation,” Royal Caribbean stated.

The cruise was slated to be one of the first passenger cruise ships to be operating in the Caribbean since the COVID-19 pandemic, after being grounded for more than a year.

Celebrity Millennium also required all of its crew and guests to be fully vaccinated. Guests were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before sailing from St. Maarten.