Well, I think I mentioned this in a trip report from last year. They were building a little dock to bring in the cruise ship launch boats. It must be completed, as evidence of this cruise ship anchored off the island. If you want to see old island charm, better hurry.
Yes it is....... The draw to the island will be the volcano and the devastation it caused over the years. Although the volcano area is in what they call an "exclusion zone", I'm betting the tour buses get in for a close look.... I was able to pay for an up close tour...
. When I was there last year I could hardly find a tee shirt store......
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Montserrat, here we come! That's the word from Windstar Cruises, which says it'll begin offering Caribbean sailings that stop at the volcano-scarred island later this year. The small-ship line says its 208-passenger Star Legend will operate seven-night voyages that include stops at Montserrat as well as St. Barts, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands starting on Dec. 8. Tourism to Montserrat plunged to almost nothing in the wake of the 1995 eruption of the island's Soufrière Hills volcano, which destroyed the Georgian era capital city of Plymouth and forced two-thirds of the island's population to flee. But a new town and port is being developed at Little Bay, on the island's northwest coast, and tourists have been trickling back. With its new deployment, Windstar will become the only major cruise operator sailing regularly to the destination. USA TODAY First look: Windstar Cruises' new Star Pride
"It's a neat new stop," Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz told cruise writers Wednesday at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference in Miami Beach, Fla. "People are coming back. Montserrat is back alive." Birkholz noted that Windstar ships had sailed past the island in the past to let passengers see the lava flows from the Soufriere Hills volcano and the destruction that it was causing. Now, "we're going to stop there for the day, and people can see what's going on."
Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano has been active over the past 15 years, as can be seen in this Jan. 4, 2007 photo. (Photo: Wayne Fenton, AP)
In addition to viewing the destructive power of an active volcano firsthand, visitors to Montserrat can go hiking and bird-watching in parts of the island that have been unaffected by recent eruptions and remain lush and green. The new sailings will continue through the winter and start at $1,999 per person, based on double occupancy. The new itinerary comes as Windstar is in the midst of a major expansion that is bringing three new ships in just over a year. The vessels include the Star Legend and sister ship Star Breeze, both of which are joining the Windstar fleet in May. Also new is the 208-passenger Star Pride, which joined the Windstar fleet last year. Windstar is acquiring the three yacht-like vessels from luxury line Seabourn. The additional ships are doubling the size of the Windstar fleet, which until now has consisted of the 148-passenger Wind Spirit, 148-passenger Wind Star and 312-passenger Wind Surf. The new Windstar Cruises will have 1,230 berths in all.