The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has granted permission for cruise ship technical calls and warm layups at its ports.
The British Virgin Islands Goverment has agreed on conditions to allow cruise ships to carry out short-term berthing at the BVI Ports Authority’s cruise pier and Port Purcell dock under strict health and safety rules.
“It is important for the BVIPA to stay in line with the Government’s decision to suspend cruise liner visits to the territory during the current COVID-19 Pandemic,” the port authority said.”But the cruise business can be continued via what is known as a technical call or warm layup.
“This is not a cruise call, as the vessel do not have any passengers on board, berthing specifically to take on bunkers, provisions, spare parts and other services. No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessels, and no attendance on board the vessels from shore based staff will be permitted during its stay in the BVI,” the statement read.
Extending technical calls or warm layups to include ships carrying out refuelling, repair and start-up activities in the territory before they can re-enter service will be of an economic benefit to the BVIPA.
Deputy Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard, said: “The government is already looking ahead and has created an economic task force, which is tasked with evaluating and preparing the BVI to be best positioned as we reboot the economy. The Port is one of the areas which is considered critical to our economy and as such we must adapt.”
“We wish to thank the Government of the Virgin Islands and our local shipping agents for its collaborative approach, and for working closely with us on this initiative. Providing supplies and fuel is of vital importance for the maritime industry,” said Dean Fahie, BVIPA’s Acting Managing Director.