WICO dock adds 9 more calls next season

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ST. THOMAS - West Indian Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boschulte said Thursday that the number of cruise ship calls planned for the coming season is climbing.

In May, WICO said the 2014-2015 ship schedule had 13 fewer calls scheduled.

"We got back nine of the 13 calls," Boschulte said. "The season next year is strong again."

During the current year, WICO's dock saw 416 ships pass through, though next year the number is expected to be 412.

During the 2012-2013 season, the dock had 386 ships visit; 380 visits during the 2011-2012 season; and 427 visits in the 2010-2011 season.

Boschulte said a few ships added just a few weeks after the original announcement in May, but Boschulte just got word this week that Royal Caribbean has added six calls for the coming season as well.

"This week was a good week. We got a call for some significant calls," Boschulte said.

He said he has also received news that some brand new ships will be starting to call on St. Thomas in the next few years.

"We see relief in terms of calls," he said. "And the numbers of passengers per call continue to rise because of the size of the ships."

He said he has had several face-to-face meetings with Royal Caribbean, most recently in July.

"We spoke with them about possible bookings, and we put them on the schedule yesterday," he said.

Scheduling cruise ship calls is a fluid practice, Boschulte said.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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