When we booked this cruise we were very excited that Tortola, BVI was part of the itinerary. We’d never been there and love seeing new places when we can. Tortola is a relatively new port for Norwegian so there wasn’t much in the way of port shopping like you’ll see in most other cruise ports. That’s in the making and was being built when we were there. We decided on a shore excursion to Virgin Gorda based on the description and some reviews we saw online. We usually book our excursions through Shore Excursions Group because they are usually much smaller groups but had to go with the cruise line because it is so new. Speaking of large group, it was big enough to fill an entire ferry. We didn’t really expect that but it was okay.
Virgin Gorda is an island not far from Tortola. It was about 45 minutes one way. I talked to some locals who said it is not uncommon for them to live in Virgin Gorda and commute to Tortola for work. There is a regular ferry service that has trips throughout the day.
The ferry ride was okay. I recommend sitting on the left side so you can see the shoreline of Tortola on the way there. The ride was a little warm since we decided to sit outside but that worked out better for my travel partner who occasionally deals with motion sickness. We docked in Virgin Gorda and we put into shuttles that held around 30 people and headed off into the national park.
Virgin Gorda looks like you would expect with tropical foliage and scenic beaches however the island is significantly less populated and urban compared to Tortola or St Thomas. There are day trips that run from resorts on neighboring islands and when ran into them when we got to the park.
The park was not what I expected but not in a bad way. There were rock and caves that you could climb through or just snorkel. The snorklers found starfish and beautiful fish like Amberjacks. We ran into several crabs along the beach and on the rocks.
We had a great time and would go back. The next time we will be exploring Tortola but this is a definite stop.