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US Virgin Islands Seeks Cruise Pier Expansion



The US Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) is seeking to dredge St. Thomas’ Crown Bay Harbor, one of the Caribbean’s busiest cruise ship ports, to create navigational space for Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum-class and Oasis-class sized cruise ships to berth at the dock at the same time.

VIPA must modify its Coastal Zone Management permit with the US Virgin Islands’ Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) to allow the dredging, according to local press reports.

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If approved, the dredging would allow Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships, which accommodate 4,180 passengers and measure 166,668 gross tons, to dock at the north side of the Crown Bay dock, while Oasis-size ships (the industry’s largest vessels 5,400 passengers and 225,282 gross tons) moored at the southern side simultaneously.

Two Quantum-class ships calling each week at Crown Bay Harbor during the territory’s the six-month cruise season would generate an additional 27,820 passengers, according to a St. John Source report. and those tourists would, on average, spend $224 per passenger – totaling more than $6 million flowing into the territory per year.

The project would impact 2.7 acres, while rock removed from dredging sites will be relocated at the notch of Crown Bay’s pier, extending the pier’s length.

DPNR members did not vote during a September 11 public meeting with officials from Bioimpact Inc., a private company contracted by DPNR to monitor the dredging process. The DPNR officials asked VIPA personnel to provide them with additional information from cruise lines that want to port in St. Thomas, according to the report.

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New Crystal Program Offers Lower Deposits Good Through 2022



Crystal’s just-launched Crystal Assured Savings program lets travelers make a $500 deposit by June 30, 2020, for an additional 2.5 percent savings on any seven-night or longer voyage through 2022. Travelers have until March 31, 2021, to select their preferred voyage.

The extra savings range from $50 for over $6,000, depending on sailing and category. The offer is good on any ocean, river, expedition or yacht cruise.

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Travel advisors will earn commission on the deposit as well as locking in new bookings for the future with full commission, less applicable savings.

“Our travel partners are part of the Crystal family, and we remain dedicated to supporting their business and working with them through these unprecedented times,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “The Crystal Assured Savings program equips them with an honest, simple tool – and meaningful savings for their clients – to continue to grow their luxury business and share the Crystal Experience with travelers who are looking to explore the world at a later date.”

The additional savings of 2.5 percent are on top of other Crystal special savings that may apply including two-for-one fares, Book Now Savings, Crystal Society Savings, Early Final Payment Savings, Back-to-Back Savings, Combination Voyage Savings and available future cruise credits.

“The Crystal Assured Savings is a win for our clients, given the array of opportunities to lock in savings on Crystal’s incredible luxury experiences now, as they look ahead to traveling again in the future,” said Eric Maryanov, president of All-Travel in Los Angeles. “Likewise, the program presents a wonderful chance for travel advisors to stimulate business during today’s uncertain environment, while also building a strong foundation for tomorrow that will keep their businesses growing. With Crystal Assured Savings, Crystal is making it possible for the travel community to stay connected and inspired beyond the challenges we are currently facing, and helping advisors weather the storm.”

Another advisor agrees. “There is no better time to start planning a Crystal vacation, with so many savings opportunities available to both new and returning guests. … Crystal’s new program helps ensure that we all sail through this time together,” said Leah Bergner, senior travel advisor for Coastline Travel Advisors in Orange County, Calif.

Terms and conditions for Crystal Assured Savings can be found here.

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