August 2nd, 2019
Fantastic news! Premier Andrew Fahie has made good on his promise to have a temporary ferry terminal erected and for the West End port on Tortola to be reopened for passenger traffic by August of this year.
After nearly two years of being closed to public ferries, the West End Ferry Terminal finally resumed its operations on August 1st. In a statement in the House of Assembly this week, the Premier said, “the facility will be ready to welcome ferry vessels from the United States Virgin Islands, among many other international destinations”. In order to accommodate international visitors, the facility will provide full immigration services for clearing passengers through customs.
Current schedules include routes between Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook and West End. Companies providing the services are Inter Island Boat Services, Native Son Ferry Services and Tortola Fast Ferry (Smith’s).
The West End port has not been operational for public traffic since the ferry terminal was destroyed by Hurricane Irma back in 2017. The BVI government had promised to reopen it at the end of 2018. In September, 2018 the BVI Government announced that a temporary West End Port Facility and Ferry Terminal would be up and ready to receive traffic from neighboring islands before Christmas, but that never materialized. Currently the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) is developing major plans for the construction of a new, modern facility at the West End Ferry Dock, but no timeline has been given for its completion.
This announcement is great news for visitors who plan to stay in the West End of Tortola or are traveling to Jost Van Dyke and for the businesses in Soper’s Hole and the surrounding area. Visitors will once again be able to get on a ferry in St. Thomas and disembark and clear customs in the West End.