Tortola cruise port is located on the Baughers Bay. The largest of the British Virgin Island has only one urban center – Road Town. According to the locals, the name Tortola was given by Christopher Columbus and it means ”land of the turtle dove.” Tortola cruise port is 22 miles from St Thomas and it is the gateway to all British Virgins Islands. Road Town has developed in the last years but still the St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie is bigger shopping center.
Tortola Island attracts passengers with its amazing beaches and the fact that Road Town is not so “commercialized” like most of the Caribbean cruise ports. The official language of the area is English.
Highlights: Road Town, Sage Mountain National Park
Tortola Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Tortola Island dock (anchor) at Road Town - port town on the central-southern coast. The port and its facilities are operated by BVI Port Authority. The city's business distict is within an easy walking distance from the port.
Road Town Cruise Pier (Tortola BVI)
Until 2015, Road Town cruise port didn't have dedicated terminal building.
- Until 2015, Road Town cruise port didn't have dedicated terminal building.
- With the new pier, Tortola cruise port has berthing capacity of two large-sized vessels at a time. If there are more than 2 vessels, one of them anchors in the bay and its passengers are tendered ashore to the Road Town Jetty. It is closer to the city center that the cruise pier.
- Before the new pier project, at the end of the cruise pier was located a shelter where passengers were gathered before shore excursions / tours.
- The new termonal has a dedicated parking area. Local taxi service includes mini vans and safari cabs. There is a taxi rank at the pier (close to Wickham’s Cay or Soper’s Hole).
- A BVI license is needed for car rentals. The license is easily obtainable with a valid US driver’s license and costs USD 10. Be aware to drive on the road’s left side!
- Tourists willing to visit other British Virgin Islands from Tortola, there is a regularly scheduled ferry service. The island has two ferry terminals – at the west end (Soper’s Hole) and at the east end (Beef Island). Regular ferry services are offered between Tortola and Cruz Bay (St John Island, USVI).
Tortola Pier Park
The cruise port development project resulted in building a new cruise terminal building.
- In 2014 started the construction works on the cruise port's new cruise ship dedicated complex "Tortola Pier Park".
- The new docking pier was completed by December 2014. Its construction included a total of 123 piles that were driven into the seabed to support the above structure (retail buildings).
- Dredging started in November. It was required to lower the seabed to 37,5 ft (11,5 m) allowing such max draft for docking cruise vessels.
- The project's scheduled completion of the pier was April 2015, with the entire "Tortola Pier Park" complex to be inaugurated in summer 2015.
- The "Tortola Pier Park" building cost is around USD 75 million. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Disney Cruise Line were the projects main investors. Of the whole budget, USD 25 million were for the new pier and new excursion docks, Another USD 25 million were for the waterfront land development (area adjacent to the cruise pier). The BVI Government leased the land for a period of 48 years (with buy-out option at 15 and 30 years).
- The Tortola Pier Park design was developed by the the US company IDEA (Orlando FL-based). This is a leading cruise port designer company that specializes in marine and waterfront port developments.
- A separate concrete slap was built to support the flagship restaurant (part of the Pier Park). The entire park includes 17 buildings, among which the cruise terminal, passenger welcome center, 2 restaurants, 1 pier bar, 1 shopping market, 1 chapel, 1 boat museum, 18 tourist kiosks. The park's 2 main buildings are sized each approx 8,000 ft2 (750 m2).
- The construction plan was to transform Road Town's waterfront into a marketplace with festive events and tourist attractions. The waterfront development included building a new shopping village (with trolly cars for cruise passengers to explore it) plus a ferris wheel.
On February 16, 2016 was inaugurated the Tortola Pier Park. Prior its construction, British Virgin Islands received around 370,000 cruise passengers annually. For the 1 year period since the park's opening, BVI received almost 700,000 passengers. The new terminal's statistics for that period showed 11 maiden ship calls.
For the summer 2017, Tortola Pier Park planned special cruise terminal events, featuring live concerts and fun family activities.
Tortola Island tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Bomba’s Surfside Shack: located in Cappoon’s Bay. It is interesting palce to visit famous with its mushroom tea, Bomba Punch and logos saying “Girls with big boops: give Bomba a hug” and “Get naked for Bomba”. The decoration features bras and panties.
- Sailing the British Virgin Islands: the best way to experience the islands. There are a lot of possibilities to enjoy the amazing blue and crystal water.
- Scuba Diving: the best area is north from Tortola cruise port. You can easily access the place (Smuggler’s cove) walking. There is a vendor where you can rent all the equipment.
- Willie T’s Floating Bar&Restaurant: the original wooden restaurant sank in 1995. This is the second one dating from 1996. You can enjoy nice cuisine and great party onboard. The restaurant leaves the Nanny Cay Marina at 5PM and returns usually at 11PM.
The Tortola Island cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Tortola Island, Road Town, BVI.
If you lose the Tortola Island location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Tortola Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Tortola Island, Road Town, BVI. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
1 May, 2017
3 May, 2017
10 May, 2017
19 May, 2017
23 May, 2017
24 May, 2017
Two cruise ship passengers were killed and 16 others injured when a tour bus crashed in Tortola yesterday (December 6). The accident on Sunday...December 7, 2015
With its expansion complete, BVI cruise pier in Tortola (Road Town), is already 1,039 feet long, 60 feet wide. Another 273 feet are provided by...May 28, 2015
A Caribbean newspaper reports that Carnival Cruise Lines' Costa Fortuna with over 4,000 passengers and crew was stuck in Road Harbour on Tortola...February 27, 2015
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