Royal Caribbean Considers Rum Cay for Possible Bahamas Expansion

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Royal Caribbean is exploring the possibility of expanding its presence in the Bahamas by considering Rum Cay as a potential new location. Michael Bayley, the company’s president and chief executive, advised not to draw conclusions but acknowledged that the cruise line constantly seeks opportunities to expand. 

Royal Caribbean currently operates the popular ‘Perfect Day’ destination on Coco Cay in the Bahamas, is underway with the development of its new Royal Beach Club in Nassau, and is also working on expanding its activities in Freeport in the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean Eyes Rum Cay for New Destination Opportunity

Rum Cay is a small island in the southern region of the Bahamas. It is about 345 miles southeast of Nassau and is known for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and pristine natural beauty. It has now come to the attention of cruise giant Royal Caribbean Group as a potential new private island cruise destination.

In response to questions about Royal Caribbean’s interest in Rum Cay, Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International’s President and CEO, confirmed that the company was approached about a potential opportunity and sent a team to investigate.

Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at CocoCay, in the Bahamas
Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, in the Bahamas (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

He mentioned: “It’s true. Our perspective is that you can never have enough great product. We are constantly looking for any opportunity where we can create a customer experience that we think the customers will love. We were approached about a potential opportunity and sent a team to look at that opportunity.

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Bayley did not provide any information on whether the cruise line plans to pursue the Rum Cay opportunity further or if negotiations have begun to secure the necessary land. Nevertheless, visiting the southern Bahamian island signifies that the company may want to expand beyond Royal Beach Club on Paradise Island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay, and Freeport.

Potential Rum Cay Site

The Bahamas newspaper Tribune Business reports sources informed them that Royal Caribbean’s interest in Rum Cay is focused on a 375-450 acre parcel in the island’s northwest corner.

This site is part of a larger 1,000-acre area previously involved in multiple land disputes. However, all title issues and legal battles are believed to have been resolved.

Rum Cay, Bahamas
Rum Cay, Bahamas (Photo Credit: netsign33 / Shutterstock)

One source even mentioned that negotiations over the land might be in the final stages, suggesting Royal Caribbean could have already accepted a contract. However, this would seem unlikely, given the timeframe. 

The northwest area of Rum Cay is considered ideal for accommodating cruise ships due to the deep water close to the shore, allowing for the construction of a pier for passengers to disembark easily.

Royal Caribbean’s Bahamas Investments

While it would seem unlikely that Royal Caribbean would be looking at another private island destination in the Bahamas, the idea is not entirely without merit. Royal Caribbean has long been looking at redeveloping the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, but that project fell through in 2021.

Royal Caribbean's Bahamas Beach Club
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

In Freeport, Royal Caribbean is working on a joint venture with ITM Group to redevelop and expand the Freeport Harbor cruise port. The project aims to bring more capacity to the port, improve its facilities, and attract more visitors by adding more cruise ship berths and developing a water-based adventure theme park for passengers close to the harbor.

Bayley stated, “I would say we are increasingly optimistic about the timing of that. In the coming months, hopefully, we will be in a position to make some positive announcements on Freeport.”

There is also Royal Caribbean’s Royal Beach Club which will soon be developed in Nassau, and there is the hugely successful Perfect Day at CocoCay. That last one, in particular, is so successful and popular that it’s not unlikely Royal Caribbean Group would be looking at developing more sites like this, possibly at Rum Cay.

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