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New Season Cruise Ships: 1.4 Million Visitors Expected

Oct. 9, 2004 – West Indian Co. Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Edward E. Thomas Friday announced expectations for October 2004 through April 2005 of the winter cruise ship season, after final discussions with the cruise lines in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
WICO is predicting 1.4 million cruise-ship tourist visitors to St. Thomas-St. John during that time period, while St. Croix is scheduled to receive just seven visits in seven months, Thomas said in a release.
Recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and Florida have caused some temporary itinerary adjustments, since the ports of Freeport and Coco Cay in the Bahamas; Georgetown, Cayman Islands in the Western Caribbean; and Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean have been impacted at this time, the release said.
The St. Thomas-St. John analysis by cruise line follows. For details on WICO's schedule for St. Croix, see the St. Croix Source story "St. Croix Cruise-Ship Schedule: 7 Visits in 7 Months".
-Disney Cruise Line – the Disney Magic will continue as a biweekly caller through May 4, 2005.
-Cunard Cruise Line – the Queen Mary II returns on Nov. 13, 2004 and will make 13 calls, including seven consecutive Wednesdays from Jan. 12 to Feb. 23, 2005.
-Royal Caribbean International – with the early redeployment of theVoyager of the Seas as a result of the hurricanes, all five Voyager-class vessels are now in the St. Thomas/St John market. Voyager will make one more call on Oct. 14, from its New Jersey homeport and then relocate to Miami to start bi-weekly calls from Tuesday, Nov. 2 through May 3, 2005. A new vessel, Jewel of the Seas, will commence biweekly calls from Thursday, Nov. 11, through April 28, 2005. Another new vessel, Serenade of the Seas, will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and call every Sunday from Oct. 31 through April 24, 2005, and Radiance of the Seas will call biweekly on Wednesdays from Nov. 10 through April 13, 2005.
-Celebrity Cruise Line – The Century, Summit, Millennium and Constellation will continue their patterns as in prior years.
-Carnival Criuise Line – the only new addition here will be the Carnival Valor which commences biweekly sailings on Wednesday, Dec. 22 and continues through April 27, 2005.
-Princess Cruise .Line – the Caribbean Princess will arrive weekly on Tuesdays through May 3, 2005. A new vessel, the Star Princess, will commence biweekly calls from Wednesday, Nov. 3, through April 20, 2005. The Golden Princess will continue its present schedule and the Dawn Princess and Sun Princess will make numerous calls on mixed itineraries.
-Holland America Line – the Zuiderdam will return to a weekly Tuesday pattern on Nov. 2 and remain in port until midnight through May 3, 2005. The Zaandam, Volendam and Maasdam will make numerous calls on mixed itineraries from Oct. 20 through April 25, 2005.
-Costa Cruise Line – the Costa Atlantica and Mediterranean will operate their same Wednesday patterns as in previous years.
-Norwegian Caribbean Line – the Norway will definitely not return to sailing in this region. The Norwegian Dawn will make 10 calls between Nov. 10 and Feb. 13, 2005. WICO is finalizing discussions to have three NCL ships in this district in 2005-2006, including the Norwegian Spirit as well as the Norwegian Jewel, which will be placed in service in August 2005.
WICO anticipates that 1.4 million passengers will arrive in the St. Thomas/St John district during the period from October 2004 to April 2005, assuming that weather conditions remain tranquil. In addition, like the previous season, some 80 percent of cruise calls will either stop in St. Thomas first or not visit the port of St. Maarten at all, Thomas said.
In the district of St. Croix, the vessel Opera will call on Dec. 8, 2004; Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Feb. 16, March 2, March 16 and March 30, 2005.
For more information, contact Alfred Lloyd at 774-1780, ext. 2214.

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