Carnival Liberty berthed at the newly extended pier on 28 March (Photo credit: Dion Stoutt)
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Liberty became the first cruise ship to berth at the newly extended cruise pier in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on 28 March.
Carnival Liberty docked alongside the north eastern berth, which was completed a few weeks ago. BVI Port Authority aims to complete the entire pier in time for its official opening, which coincides with the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway on 29 April.
Currently, the pier has been lengthened to 1,039ft and fitted with mooring dolphins to provide a total of 1,312ft of berthing space. Once the US$35 million Cruise Pier Expansion Project has been completed, the pier will be 60ft wide and will be able to accommodate two ships of 180,000gt.
Norwegian Getaway’s crew and more than 4,000 passengers will join the BVI Tourist Board, the Ministry of Communications and Works and the BVI Port Authority to mark the opening with various festivities including live music, dancers and mocko jumbies.
In addition, the port authority has also developed a 20-foot boardwalk to handle passenger traffic an excursion dock facility and carried out dredging and land reclamation operations to provide a safer and wider turning basin for visiting ships. A five-acre Tortola Pier Park complex featuring commercial, retail, entertainment and green spaces is also under development next to the cruise terminal.
To find out more about the expansion project and how BVI Port Authority’s managing director Claude O. Skelton Cline thinks the new facility will boost cruise tourism, click here.