Above: a Carnival cruise ship
By Alexander Britell
MIAMI — The Caribbean’s newest port project is coming to Haiti.
In a statement provided to Caribbean Journal, Carnival Corporation announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a $70 million destination cruise project in Tortuga (Ile de la Tortue), an island off the northern coast of Haiti.
“This is another milestone for our tourism effort; Haiti has the nicest island spots in the world,” Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told Caribbean Journal in a statement. “We welcome Carnival Cruise Lines’ investments, to show the world that’s it’s better in Haiti.”
Carnival said the amount of $70 million would be the largest cruise industry investment ever made in Haiti, “providing a new and exciting destination for ship itineraries traveling the Caribbean,” according to David Candib, vice president, development and operations for Carnival Corporation’s Global Port & Destination Development Group.
It would also be the second major port project in Haiti, following Royal Caribbean, which has had a major port in Labadee for nearly three decades.
“This also represents a major commitment to the people of Haiti by Carnival Corporation – the largest cruise company in the world, with nine industry-leading brands and dozens of ships operating in the Caribbean, the world’s most popular region for cruise vacations,” Candib said. “The development will create an exciting opportunity for our guests to enjoy a new, secluded and stunning destination in the island of Tortuga that the company expects will become a very popular place for guests to enjoy for years to come.”
Candib said the project would generate “significant development and construction activities,” with 900 direct and indirect jobs created, according to initial estimates.
“The project will be an anchor for further development on the island,” he said. “We are working together with the Haitian people and government to build Tortuga into popular and economically sustainable Caribbean destinations.”
Candib said the project was part of Carnival’s “larger investment in the Caribbean as a whole.”
“The Caribbean is a crucial market for the success of Carnival Corporation and the cruise industry in general – and we remain committed to creating new and exciting products in the region,” he said. “The Caribbean is not only the most popular region for cruise vacations, but it is also where Carnival Corporation’s roots are, and where the company’s nine brands deploy a large number of ships and set sail with millions of guests every year.”
Carnival is developing several other projects in the region, including one in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, among others.