The Cruise Pier was officially opened with speeches and fireworks on April 29, 2015. The day started with the inaugural call of the Norwegian Getaway into the Port of Road Town as it safely docked onto the newly constructed cruise pier.
Speaking at the morning ceremony, Richard Starkey, Project Director for IDL-Meridian said:
“The IDL-Meridian joint venture brought together the expertise of professionals from the BVI, Canada, USA, the UK and the Caribbean to work with the BVI Ports Authority to design and build this cruise pier expansion. We are pleased and proud to have delivered a world-class docking facility to accommodate the world’s third largest class of ships AND to deliver it on time.
“Our team of engineers, surveyors, supervisors, technicians, labourers, and administrators under supervision of the Project Manager, Dion Stoutt has given this project 110%, working against the clock and without compromise to complete it on time. On behalf of the IDL-Meridian partners, I thank every single member of the team for his or her time and commitment to the cruise pier expansion project.”
Governor, His Excellency John S. Duncan, OBE, expressed his congratulations to the Government and its vision in making the pier a reality. He added that Virgin Islanders should be proud and that the pier profiles the Territory’s high quality culture. “As a gateway to our Territory (the Cruise Pier) it will play an important role in maintaining tourism as a key pillar in the Virgin Islands economy. A shop window to Nature’s Little Secrets, where the type and quality of customer services offered are not only friendly and welcoming but amongst the best in the region.”
Premier Smith in remarks said that the Government is strengthening the BVI’s tourism product and providing training to accommodate the growing sector.
The Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool stated that his goal is to develop the Territory to help secure a brighter future for all. “We have worked extremely hard to ensure that the infrastructure of the Virgin Islands is maintained and improved according to international standards.”
Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal was also present to give his remarks for the historic occasion. Honourable O’Neal provided a brief history lesson on the Road Harbor and what it means for the Territory today.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the Chairman of the Board of BVI Ports Authority, Mr. J. Edward de Castro, Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority, Mr. Claude O. Skelton Cline, Senior Vice President of Destination and Port Operations, Norwegian, Mr. Colin Murphy, and Senior Vice President of Operations, Disney, Mr. Anthony Connelly.
The Opening ceremony ended with an anchor drop by Government officials and a plaque presentation to the captain of the Norwegian Getaway Cruise Ship.
The evening celebrations for the completion of the expansion of the Cruise Pier peaked yesterday with fireworks as residents of the territory joined Government officials at the site.