Source AP ©

Cruise line to resume stops in US Virgin Islands

Stops in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be resumed to ease immigration delays that frustrated disembarking passengers.

Princess Cruises, which canceled 10 port calls to St. Thomas in the 2007-08 season because of the delays, said it was satisfied by the pledge and would not go through with a plan to substitute other islands on the itinerary of its 14-day "Grand Caribbean Adventure."

The package tour is marketed in Britain and the delays primarily affected non-U.S. citizens who must present immigration documents upon arrival in the territory. Princess said some passengers missed excursions because of the wait.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency - prompted by a request from the territory's governor - agreed to add an unspecified number of inspectors to the port during visits by the line's Sea Princess, which typically holds up to 2,000 passengers.

Keith McFarquhar, the agency's assistant director for border security in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, said it was common for the U.S. to add personnel when requested. "We are here to facilitate tourism, commerce and the rest," he said.

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