As one of the busiest destinations in the region, the Bahamas has always been extremely important for Carnival Cruise Line. With the recent surge in bookings that the cruise line has experienced and the industry’s overall optimism, Carnival has found the time right to make a significant investment in the Bahamas.
The cruise line is building a new cruise port in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government of The Bahamas, a $200 million investment.
Construction of the cruise port officially started today with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by executives from Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corp., and local politicians.
Groundbreaking Ceremony at Grand Bahama
Carnival Cruise Line re-affirmed the importance of the Bahamas to the company as it started the construction of a new cruise port on Grand Bahama. Since Carnival first started operating fifty years ago, the Bahamas have played an essential role in the growth of the cruise line.
The new Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port will open in late 2024. It will be able to accommodate two Excel-class cruise ships such as Carnival’s Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee.
The port is being developed on the southern side of the island, giving access to the entire island while also incorporating several exciting features and amenities.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy: “Today’s groundbreaking on our incredible new Grand Bahama destination represents an opportunity to collaborate with the government and people of Grand Bahama – to contribute to the local economy through job and business opportunities, and further expand our experience offerings for our guests who will have a breathtaking new port of call to enjoy.”
Besides a new pier capable of accommodating the largest cruise ships in Carnival’s fleet, there will also be a dedicated shore excursion dock and a dedicated ground transportation hub to maximize guests’ time in port.
The port area will have an area designated as a nature reserve and an interior pool. There will also be a wide variety of Bahamian retail, food, and beverage options for guests.
“Our sincere thanks to the government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority for their continued support as we begin construction. Our guests already love The Bahamas, and we are certain this new project will give them even more reason to want to visit,” Duffy continued.
$200 Million Investment
The new port project means a $200 Million investment for Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation. Cruise lines have been moving to develop their own infrastructure projects for many years now, with Carnival Corporation operating both Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.
The new port is a welcome addition for the local communities, which will have the opportunity to open up retail and food and beverage outlets in the area:
The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman Sarah St. George commented: “The new Carnival cruise port destination will have a monumental impact on our island’s economy, including a panoply of new business opportunities, a huge surge in tourist visitors, as well as increased activities for established businesses.”
The deal was first revealed in 2019, and the building had been scheduled to start in mid-2020. Due to the pandemic, the plans were postponed, with Carnival and the Bahamas now believing the time is right to start building.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, and representatives from Carnival Corporation. More details on the design, features, and name of the cruise port will be revealed over the upcoming months.
More Investments To Come
During the groundbreaking ceremony, there was more good news for the Bahamas. Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald announced the company would be building two of “the largest floating dry docks ever built” at Grand Bahama Shipyard.
This could mean that Carnival Corporation aims to increase the number of dry docks in the Bahamas and possibly dry dock their Excel-class ships in the Bahamas. Most companies sail their ships to Europe for dry dock operations, which is not just further to sail, it is also significantly more expensive,