Royal Caribbean Closes In on New Resort in Freeport, Bahamas

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Royal Caribbean Group is reportedly in discussions to acquire the Xanadu Beach Hotel in Freeport, Bahamas, eyeing a significant expansion in the Bahamas through the development of a new resort and water park. 

While Royal Caribbean has not confirmed these reports, multiple sources suggest a deal may be imminent. The deal would be the second large development by a cruise company on the island, after Carnival’s Celebration Key, which will welcome its first guests in July 2025.

Royal Caribbean Eyes Potential Acquisition of Xanadu Hotel

Royal Caribbean is reportedly close to making a deal on the Xanadu Beach Hotel and adjacent land parcels on Grand Bahama Island. 

The area in question, estimated to be around 40-50 acres, stretches down to Princess Isle and will be developed into a waterpark and resort, making it the third development in the Bahamas for Royal Caribbean, after Perfect Day at Coco Cay and the new Royal Beach Club in Nassau, Paradise Island.

While no formal deal has been confirmed, ongoing discussions with both Harcourt, the owners of several land tracts in the area, and Xanadu’s owner, Italian/Bahamian businessman Mario Donato, are making progress, according to Bahamian newspaper The Tribune.

“They want all the tracts down to Princess Isle. It’s probably 40-50 acres. If you look at the map you will see Xanadu at one end and four more ten-acre pieces going down to the west to Princess Isle. Harcourt Developments owns the next two,” a source told the Tribune.

Cruise Passengers in Freeport, Bahamas
Cruise Passengers in Freeport, Bahamas (Photo Credit: Mags951)

For now, the reports on the potential acquisition of the property by Royal Caribbean Group are being held a closely guarded secret by all involved, including Royal Caribbean International’s CEO Michael Bayley. The silence from top executives adds to the speculation and anticipation surrounding the potential acquisition.

Read Also: Who Owns Royal Caribbean – All You Need to Know

If and when the deal is announced, it will not come as a surprise, as Royal Caribbean has long been looking at increasing its already significant presence in the region.

Royal Caribbean’s Continued Pursuit of Expansion in the Bahamas

The potential acquisition of the Xanadu Resort by Royal Caribbean is a logical step in the company’s ongoing strategy to broaden its presence in the Bahamas, specifically targeting Grand Bahama Island. 

This strategy became evident following the unsuccessful bid in 2021 to acquire the Grand Lucayan Resort. The Xanadu Resort presents an ideal opportunity for Royal Caribbean to advance its regional plans. Reports indicate that Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean, is expected to have a significant role in the development of the Xanadu property.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt)

This development would have a significant impact on Freeport, especially considering other major investments in the area. 

There are discussions about various other projects involving Royal Caribbean. These include the development of Rum Cay and a collaborative effort with ITM Group to renovate and enlarge the Freeport Harbor cruise port, in partnership with MSC Cruises.

Meanwhile, Carnival is advancing with the construction of its Grand Bahama resort, Celebration Key, which is anticipated to open in July 2025. 

The collective impact of these developments could transform Freeport into a premier tourist destination. Ultimately, the island stands to gain significantly from the influx of tourist revenue, the creation of construction jobs, and the establishment of lasting employment opportunities.

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