With confidence in the cruise industry growing and at the highest point since March 2020, the development of new cruise ports is in high gear.
The development of the new cruise port in Nassau, a new Carnival cruise port on Grand Bahama Island, Disney’s Lighthouse Point, and the brand new Port Coral in Belize are all progressing as planned.
All ports mean significant investments from private and government organizations. Port Coral represents one of the most significant cruise industry investments ever made in Belize at $82.5 million; Disney’s Lighthouse Point represents a $400 million investment, and Carnival’s Grand Bahama Port will cost around $200 million.
Nassau Cruise Port Development In High Gear
As one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean, Nassau was in dire need of revamping. The news in 2019 that the port would see a complete redesign was welcome for visitors and locals alike. The port will be a cultural and entertainment destination that will celebrate the heritage and history of Nassau.
“The government’s vision is the transformation of the Nassau waterfront, inclusive of the new Nassau Cruise Port, into one of the most vibrant, dynamic, attractive and exciting waterfronts in the region.” said Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
That project is now well underway, with the added benefit that the port is already able now to welcome the biggest cruise ships in the world.
The works include the repair and expansion of Prince George Wharf and the addition of a sixth berth that gives the port the capacity to accommodate three Oasis-class vessels simultaneously. The port is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.
The $300 million project will bring not just pleasure to cruise ship guests, but it will also be an entertainment destination for locals.
There will be a new terminal building, a Junkanoo museum, event & entertainment spaces, a 3,500-person Amphitheatre, a living coral exhibit, stores owned and operated by locals, and new local food and beverage facilities.
Disney’s Lighthouse Point, a New Private Island Destination
Set to open in 2024, Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point is another Bahamas endeavor that is starting to take shape. Although the plans for the island resort had been revealed in 2019 by Disney CEO Bob Chapek, with completion scheduled for 2022, the pandemic caused significant delays here.
The $400 million project will be something special. No less than 300 construction workers will be building an Adventure Camp, two public beaches, A Spa and Wellness center, Arts and Culture center, Cabanas, and various bars and restaurants. Disney is also investing heavily into the environmental factors affected by the thousands of visitors each day.
The line has assembled a 500-page environmental program that lists the various ecological factors affected by the building of the various attractions. Disney will also build a solar farm on-site to ensure a sufficient power supply.
In addition to its animal and conservation experts, Disney assembled a team of highly qualified and experienced scientists and other professionals who spent three years developing the environmental program.
World-Class Cruise Facility in Belize
Belize has always been a firm favorite for many cruisers. With its turquoise waters and stunning natural beauty, that’s no surprise.
This year, there will be even more to enjoy for visitors as Port Coral opens its doors later this year. The new privately-owned port will give guests safe and easy access to the unique culture, cuisine, and beauty of Belize.
The 40-acre port is surrounded by the clear waters of the Caribbean sea and will feature resort-like amenities that include three beaches, a pool zone, crew facilities, bars & restaurants, retail shops, a zip-line, and much more.
The $82.5 million development is financed by Stake Bank Enterprise Limited and will be Belize City’s first-ever cruise docking port capable of accommodating four of the largest cruise ships simultaneously.
Growing Trend of Private Ports
With hundreds of port opportunities in the Caribbean area, one would wonder why cruise lines and private entities are choosing to build even more ports. And the reason for that is simple. It’s good for business.
Carnival Cruise Line recently broke ground at its new cruise dock on Grand Bahama in the Bahamas, an island that already has a port capable of receiving cruise ships. The cruise line will be able to control is ship scheduled to the port and help the local economy with local tours and stores.
Parent company Carnival Corporation is also upgrading its hugely popular Half Moon Cay private island in the Bahamas.
And more is coming, with Royal Caribbean building a new perfect day island in the South Pacific; Perfect Day at Lelepa, a small island in the island state of Vanuatu. Royal Caribbean is also developing Royal Beach Club in Nassau, The Bahamas.
With confidence in the cruise industry at a two-year high, there is no better time than now, it seems, to ramp up the building of new destination ports around the world.