Is Norwegian Cruise Line Expanding and Enhancing Private Island?

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Norwegian Cruise Line could well be looking to elevate the guest experience at its private island resort, Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas. Recent announcements from NV2A, a construction company that claims to be managing the project, have unveiled ambitious plans for the expansion and enhancement of this idyllic destination.

The company says that Great Stirrup Cay will receive numerous facility and entertainment upgrades, including the construction of a long-awaited pier. Norwegian Cruise Line has leased and later owned Great Stirrup Cay since the 1970s. The last major upgrades took place in 2016.

Phase III Upgrades at Great Stirrup Cay

NV2A, a major construction company involved in several high-end projects, has unveiled it is involved in a major facelift to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay. The news comes as several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and MSC Cruises, are investing heavily in their private cruise destinations.

Construction company NV2A was involved in Great Stirrup Cay Phase II in 2016, which included the construction of multiple guest accommodations and amenities, such as 16 beach-front cabanas, 22 lagoon-front villas, and 8 upscale one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas. 

At the time, a spa, a reception building, and enhanced restaurant options were also constructed. According to NV2A, Norwegian Cruise Line is now in the process of designing and soon, constructing Phase III of the development at Great Stirrup Cay.

Great Stirrup Cay Private Island
Great Stirrup Cay Private Island (Photo Credit: Just dance)

This phase is expected to bring groundbreaking upgrades to the island, such as a new pier capable of accommodating two cruise ships simultaneously. The expansion plans also include the introduction of water attractions such as pools, a lazy river, and new beach areas.

Also Read: Royal Caribbean Closes In on New Resort in Freeport, Bahamas

A highlight of Phase III will be the creation of a new Bahamian Village. This village will host a variety of food and beverage venues for guests to enjoy, along with dormitories for service staff. Additionally, the development will include essential infrastructure for water, sewer, and power systems.

The enhancements have yet to be confirmed by Norwegian Cruise Line, neither is it clear as to when the construction of the new additions would be starting. This also comes after the cruise line sent a survey asking what guests would like to see at its private destinations.

Enhancing Guest Experience and Local Economy

The improvements that have been unveiled by NV2A are great news for guests visiting the island, and certainly significantly expand what is on offer at Great Stirrup Cay. On the other hand, the improvements will increase the efficiency of landing and boarding processes for guests, potentially extending their time on the island by two to three hours.

Great Stirrup Cay
Great Stirrup Cay (Photo Credit: Victor Maschek)

From an economic perspective, the project is expected to create significant employment opportunities during its construction phase. Moreover, the anticipated increase in guest volumes – from 286,357 in 2019 to a projected 714,000 after the new pier has been constructed – will have a positive effect on the local economy,

Great Stirrup Cay’s history as a private cruise destination dates back to the late 1970s. Originally leased from Belcher Oil Company in 1977 and later purchased in 1986, the 268-acre island has evolved from an uninhabited oasis into a sought-after cruise destination. 

Great Stirrup Cay, located between Grand Bahama island and Nassau, and next to Great Harbour Cay and Perfect Day at CocoCay, is home to a coconut plantation, a lighthouse dating back to 1863, and white sandy beaches and clear ocean waters. Perhaps more importantly, it serves as the very first island operated as a private destination by a cruise line.

Currently, guests can go zip-lining from the Lighthouse, take tours to go swimming with pigs or stingrays or go snorkeling at the underwater sculpture garden.

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