Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruiseship

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruiseship

The “Oasis of the Seas,”  Royal Caribbean’s huge cruise ship, plans to make St. Thomas, USVI its first port of call, but not if a local environmental group has any say in the matter.

Bareboat and Caribbean yacht charter enthusiasts, tourism and hotel officials, and concerned residents threaten legal action to stop a controversial dredging project in St. Thomas USVI.

The Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc. has served noticed to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, and a host of Obama administration officials of the group’s intent to commence a lawsuit to prevent the dumping
of dredge spoil in Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

Plans are underway to dredge a portion of Charlotte Amalie harbor, and deposit the dredged materials on the ocean floor of nearby Lindbergh Bay.

The Virgin Island Port Authority (VIPA) seeks government approval to dredge Charlotte Amalie Harbor to accommodate navigation and berthing of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas.”  Currently under construction, the 1,180 ft vessel is scheduled to include St. Thomas as its first port of call in December 2009. An environmental assessment report commissioned by the VIPA states the project will actually improve the marine environment and prevent coastal erosion.

Some tourism and hotel officials don’t see it that way.

The Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc. is concerned the environmental impact of the project will have adverse effects on the local economy. They cite the potential for harm to sea turtles, their nesting sites, and the protected coral species found in the Bay.

Long the hub of the Caribbean yacht charter, bareboat charter, cruiseship industry, and a thriving eco-friendly vacation destination, thousands of tourists visit the Virgin Islands each year to swim, boat, and dive in the protected waters.

According to the Coalition, the long-term results of damage to the environment will mean a reduction of tourism. “Tourists come here to experience nature, up close and personal,” states a local bareboat yacht charter employee. “If we destroy the natural beauty of the area, tourists will simply go elsewhere and we’ll all pay the price, including our marine environment.”

To read the VIPA environmental assessment report and learn more about the Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc email

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Foreign visitors planning a bareboat charter vacation might hear a familiar voice on the radio
reminding them of the upcoming change in document requirements for crossing the border
into the U.S. by land or sea.

The US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has launched a new radio Public Service Announcement featuring Glenn Frey, solo artist and founding member of the legendary rock band, the Eagles.  The PSA is part of an integrated national communications campaign sponsored by CBP to educate travelers about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and the upcoming change in document requirements for crossing the border into the U.S. by land or sea.

Glenn Frey of The Eagles Band recorded a public service announcement (PSA) to educate travelers about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and the upcoming change in document requirements for crossing the border into the U.S. by land or sea

Glenn Frey of The Eagles Band

Many foreign tourists pass through the United States or the US Virgin Islands on their way to a bareboat charter vacation.  Whether planning a Bahama yacht charter or a Caribbean yacht charter, a foreign citizen bareboat charter customer needs to be aware of the new rules and document requirements when entering the United States.

In the audio recording, Frey, front man for the Eagles rock band, reminds travelers to obtain a compliant document and relates his own travel experiences to the audience. “In the 40 years that I’ve been touring the world with the Eagles, from Toronto to Tucson and across the southern border, I’ve learned the importance of being prepared. Getting back home is made simple with the proper documents. Travel safe, have fun, and take it easy,” Frey said.

The PSA is slated for distribution to radio stations across the country in February 2009.

As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the change in requirements will be implemented June 1, 2009, at all U.S. land borders and sea ports. WHTI was designed to facilitate trade and travel while ensuring that travelers crossing into the United States provide proper documentation denoting citizenship and identity.

Tourists planning a Caribbean yacht charter or a Bahama yacht charter are encouraged to contact a charter specialist at 1-800-BAREBOAT for more information about the documents and how to apply for them.  Additional information can be found on the WHTI Web site:

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