St. Croix will be significantly increasing its cruise-ship presence in the next two years, Beverly Nicholson Doty, commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism told Cruise Industry News.

Speaking only three months after the island welcomed its first ship back since 2002 (Oceania's Regatta), Doty said that doubling its 2009 cruise calls by 2011 is a realistic goal.

This year, St. Croix is expected to have 55 cruise-ship calls and more than 125,000 passengers, she added compared to 35,000 passengers in 2002.

Callers in 2009 include Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Oceania.

We will surpass 2009's numbers next year, Doty said, and in 2011, double this year's calls.

The Frederiksted pier area will soon be undergoing work to accommodate ships the size of the Adventure of the Seas and larger, Doty said, which will contribute to its passenger increase.

Doty also said that European lines would be a nice match for the island.

The reason for the six-year hiatus in calls to St. Croix was mainly due to cruise lines feeling they weren't getting the proper response from the government, Doty said, adding that the relationship between the cruise lines and the government of St. Croix at that time was not the greatest.