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St. Croix is scheduled to welcome a total of 55 cruise ships, between October 2012 and September 2013. Tourism Department spokesman Allegra Kean-Moorehead said that although the number is down by two over the 2011-12 season, the ships are larger, and will result in more passengers.

Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said “ The department continues to work diligently to build brand awareness for St. Croix to increase both cruise and land-based arrivals.”

“In the face of these challenging economic times, cruise arrivals are a welcome opportunity to showcase the best of St. Croix and encourage visitors to return for extended overnight stays,” she added.

A change to the 2012-13 schedule, is the presence of cruise ships during the summer months. With seven calls scheduled for the Jewel of the Seas in the summer of 2013, an estimated 17,507 passengers and 6,013 crew will visit St. Croix during the traditionally slow period.

To prepare for the upcoming season, the Tourism Department will hold customer service training sessions for the general public on St. Croix in September.