Jan. 12, 2006 — The boat that has brought festivities to hundreds of visitors and locals alike may soon be headed for the horizon in the Virgin Islands. Owners of the Kon Tiki have reportedly surrendered their operating certificate to the U.S. Coast Guard.
According to the daughter of the original owner, the end of Kon Tiki tours from St. Thomas marks the end of an era. Brooks Brown, current owner of Tropic Tours, said the current owners decided the cost of doing business here was more than they were willing to pay. "The Coast Guard and all the regulations now are costing so much money, its just not economically feasible to keep the boat," she said Wednesday.
Chief Warrant Officer Darrel McCormick conducted the last inspection of the Kon Tiki in October. He said it was the owner's decision to surrender the operator's certificate. "The inspection for the Kon Tiki commenced on Oct. 14 and after inspection of the vessel we issued some requirements. The owner chose to surrender the vessel's certificate of inspection to operate in the United States in lieu of completing those requirements," he said.
The boat that sailed Charlotte Amalie Harbor with promises of "barefoot dancing, games, a limbo contest and bottles of rum to be won," also set the scene for late night dances featuring some of the territory's most popular bands. It is one of several excursion boats bearing the same name operating in U.S. vacation spots, including South Florida, the Dominican Republic and Nassau.
There is no word about what will happen to the boat, now that it is no longer providing festive day trips for cruise ship passengers on St. Thomas.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.