British Virgin Islands
Category 5 Hurricane “Irma” & “Maria”- Update #3
Which airports are now open?
Nearly all of them! In a major boost for the Virgin Islands Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, Tortola is open for business – the first commercial flight since hurricanes Irma and Maria resumed on Monday. Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas reopened to commercial flights last week and there are plans to reopen St. Croix’s airport this week.
British Airways flights to the region are operating as scheduled, having been suspended to several airports in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. British Airways flies across the Caribbean from London to destinations including Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.
Region carriers, Cape Air, which operates flights to St Thomas, Vieques and Tortola has also resumed flights, and Seaborne plan to resume flights to Tortola on 11th October. Liat will be resuming flights to Tortola 1st November from the Eastern Caribbean.
What about the dive sites?
ARK, The Association of Reef Keepers, has verified that the wreck of the RMS Rhone and most other sites were almost completely untouched by the hurricanes.
As for a cold beer or a cocktail….we have many reports that Foxy’s, Soggy Dollar, The Willy T, Myett’s, and many other favorites will be open for business by November or December. And of course the natural beauty of the The Baths, The Indians, The Caves and also the beautiful beaches are still there to be enjoyed.
The crews on many of the yachts which were undamaged or our of the hurricane’s reach are already taking bookings for charters in the BVI this winter as the turquoise water, soft sand beaches, and pop up bars are ready to welcome visitors. In the early part of the year newly refurbished resorts will also be open for business.
As for Anegada which is known for succulent grilled lobster and miles of white sand beaches…..
The BVI Tourist Board team visited Anegada and “were energized to see the recovery in full swing.There is damage but the island fared better than its neighbors. Relief supplies have begun to arrive daily and ferry services have resumed.” The team believes Anegada will be ready for Lobster Fest in November.
Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr. D Orlando Smith said, “One of the British Virgin Islands’ main economic pillars, the tourism industry, will reopen for business as early as November. Despite losses, charter companies are already working to ensure guests enjoy the sailing capital of the world this coming tourist season. By the end of November, at least one property had made it clear that they will have 120 boats in the water. I have no doubt that others will do the same.”
We feel deeply for all the residents who have lost their homes, communities, and livelihoods. The marinas and local businesses are are working tirelessly to prepare for the upcoming season and we are pleased to be part of this process by helping to bring tourism back to Natures Little Secret. We will be providing further support and supplies to the BVI early November, so will be able to provide a first hand report on the recovery progress.
In the meantime please do let us know if you would like any further information on chartering in the Caribbean.