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.
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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