Queen Mary 2 received a warm, extravagant welcome during her inaugural visit to St. Thomas on Saturday. Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 is the longest, most elaborate passenger vessel ever made, boasting 10 dining venues, a casino, the world’s first planetarium at sea and the largest ballroom, library and wine collection available at sea. The first class liner is set to become Cunard Line’s transatlantic flagship.
“It is such an honour to welcome the world’s finest luxury ocean liner to the United States Virgin Islands,” Commissioner Richards said. “We are privileged to have been selected as the first American port of call for the ship’s maiden voyage from Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The stately appearance of Queen Mary 2 in St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie Harbour was an awe-inspiring sight to behold and her presence reaffirms the significance of America’s Caribbean to the cruise industry.”
The luxury liner glided into Charlotte Amalie Harbor early in the morning and excitement filled the air. A flotilla of charter yachts, waving their American and U.S. Virgin Islands flags, escorted the ship’s first tender to the harbor’s lively waterfront, as a magnificent water spray display arose from St. Thomas’ new fireboat. Guests were greeted on land with live music, dancing mocko jumbies and a sampling of local Caribbean cuisine. Charlotte Amalie’s Main Street was transformed into a pedestrian mall where local arts and crafts were sold and musicians kept guests dancing in the streets for hours.
While the fanfare was specially prepared for this maiden voyage, cruise ship passengers can expect as much fun each time they disembark in America’s Caribbean. The USVI has initiated many new efforts in recent years to accommodate mega cruise ships and the interests of their passengers.Docking facilities have been expanded and tour operators provide a wide range of activities for guests to enjoy. Unique attractions, watersports, the very best duty-free shopping in the region and the opportunity to visit more than one island during a single port of call make the USVI one of the best cruise ship ports in the Caribbean.