The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) is taking steps to improve the visitor experience at the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum located in the Centre for Applied Marine Studies at Paraquita Bay. With the enhanced experience, HLSCC will also introduce a fee of $3.00 per person for tours of the facility commencing on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Visits by residents remain free of charge. In addition to improvements to some exhibits, all visitors will now receive an interpretive brochure as an aid to self-guided tours. Guided tours can also be arranged with advanced bookings.
The Virgin Islands Maritime Museum was created with the aim of drawing attention to the rich maritime history of the Virgin Islands and has been viewed by residents and visitors alike for over ten years. Curator Geoff Brookes continues to add exhibits which currently include boat models, marine artifacts and boat building tools, photos of old vessels and launchings and the Virgin Islands Maritime Wall of Fame which features Virgin Islands shipwrights, captains and seamen.
Commenting on the new developments at the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum at HLSCC, Director of Tourism Sharon Flax Mars said, “The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board is pleased that the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College has taken steps to improve the experience of guests to the Maritime Museum. This is in keeping with our mandate to work with partners in the public and private sector to improve the product and range of attractions we offer to our guests visiting the Territory The institution of the fee will also help the museum sustain the delivery of service to its guests including the production of collateral, signage and other improvements, thereby improving the value of the experience. This is especially important at this time with the booming cruise sector which is looking for additional product and tours to sell to their guests.”
According to HLSCC President Dr. Karl Dawson, the enhancements to the Museum experience is consistent with the College efforts to develop its cultural, historical and environmental resources as aids for teaching young Virgin Islanders and for the viewing and learning pleasure for visitors to our shores. The College also aims to further develop the mangrove boardwalk experience and to complete the Joe’s Hill Millhouse replica.