Following a four-year transformation project to revitalize and expand the cruise port on Prince George Wharf in Nassau, the teams behind the Nassau Cruise Port and Global Ports Holding have announced phase one of reviving Nassau’s cruise port has been completed.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for later this month, but construction will continue throughout 2023 and 2024 as builders finalize the projects outlined in Phase 2.
A New Era for Nassau Cruise Port
Nassau Cruise Port, which has undergone a significant rejuvenation effort over the last four years, is set to officially open to the public on May 26, 2023.
The $300 million project includes the addition of a new berth and refurbishing and repairing all piers. Nassau Cruise Port can now accommodate six cruise ships, per day, including three Icon or Oasis-class ships.
The expansion of the port facilitates an increased capacity from 20,000 cruise passengers per day to over 30,000 cruise passengers per day – resulting in an anticipated four million cruise visitors by the end of 2023.
While still less than Cozumel in Mexico, it puts Nassau firmly in second place on the list of busiest cruise ports, and potentially number one later this year.
Mike Maura Jr., CEO and Director of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., expressed his excitement: “After three years of planning, and three years of development and construction, we are so thrilled to be able to unveil the new Nassau Cruise Port to cruise passengers, tourists, and the Bahamian community.”
The revitalization of Nassau Cruise Port has been a joint project between the Bahamian Government and Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise operator, which operates ports in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
Mehmet Kutman, Chairman & CEO of Global Ports Holding Plc: “We are so proud of what we have accomplished at Nassau Cruise Port. This revitalization journey means so much more than just the construction of new buildings and beautiful design aesthetics, but also the promotion of Bahamian heritage and culture and countless new opportunities for the people of The Bahamas.
Focusing on Local Culture
The new port promises to be a center for cultural expression and entertainment, celebrating the heritage and history of the 300-year-old city of Nassau.
“Nassau Cruise Port will proudly showcase the best of The Bahamas over its 11 acres of reimagined waterfront development, creating a new downtown Nassau destination. We want each and every visitor to have a remarkable, memorable experience in Nassau, and we are excited to proudly display Bahamian goods, culture, and warm hospitality to our guests,” said Mike Maura.
Guests will be welcomed by a modern arrivals plaza, a Junkanoo museum featuring immersive experiences, authentic Bahamian retail and food and beverage outlets, an organized ground transportation area, a theater, and entertainment venues, state-of-the-art security technology, an art gallery, and new green spaces.
At the arrivals plaza and around the entire port area, vendors will sell unique, locally-produced products that pay homage to the traditions of The Bahamas.
Project to be Fully Completed by 2024
While Phase 1 has been completed, works are continuing at the port under Phase 2, with upcoming enhancements forecasted to be completed by 2024. Further additions include opening a signature restaurant and several other family-friendly attractions.
The two-stage approach of the Nassau Cruise Port Project, executed by Turkish construction and project management company ENKA, ensured the port remained fully operational throughout the build process.
Phase 1 focused on accommodating larger cruise vessels, upgrading existing structures, and creating additional docking capacity. This ensured the port enjoyed multiple record-breaking visitor days in the last couple of months.