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USVI offers cruise lines alternatives as ships exit Cuba

Following the Trump administration's renewed restrictions on travel to Cuba, the US Virgin Islands government is working closely with the cruise lines to help them as they race to rework their itineraries.

Joseph Boschulte, commissioner of tourism designee, said that since news of the policy shift, the ports of the Virgin Islands reached out to the cruise lines to offer inconvenienced passengers the opportunity to visit the territory, including the less busy cruise destination of St. Croix.

'We have been in contact with the lines about making calls to both St. Croix and St. Thomas,' said Boschulte, who let executives know the territory's ports can accommodate diverted vessels on short notice.

Championing St. Croix

'We have the capacity and are encouraging the lines to experience St. Croix especially — an emerging tourism destination steeped in rich culture and heritage and whose stakeholders are prepared to provide a welcoming experience for cruise ship passengers,' he said.

This follows on Boschulte championing St. Croix as 'its own island' with 'its own set of attributes' during Seatrade Cruise Global in April.

Meetings to follow at FCCA Platinum event

On Wednesday, Boschulte said the ports of the Virgin Islands will closely monitor the impact of the new US policy and explore solutions with cruise lines at next week's Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Conference, taking place in St. Maarten.

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