Above: Bimini (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The new cruise pier has been completed on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, Resorts World Bimini announced Thursday.
The pier represents the first phase of the company’s three-phase project on the island. Subsequent phases include permanent facilities for customs and immigration and a new “beach experience,” the company said.
The Bimini SuperFast cruise ship had previously been sending passengers to the island via tender boats, which had limited passengers’ time on the island.
The new pier means passengers can step right off the ship onto a dock and into Bimini, with up to six hours of island time.
“The completion of the Port at Resorts World Bimini further enhances our commitment to the island, offering guests more time in port and uninterrupted cruise service during the winter months,” said Dana Leibovitz, president of Resorts World Bimini. “Growing demand for cruises to Bimini among passengers hailing from Broward and Palm Beach counties and points north has led us add service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale during the week. This move will make our day cruises even more accessible to the South Florida market and increase the economic impact to the island of Bimini.”
The company will begin sailing the Bimini SuperFast to the new pier on Sept. 18.
The company also said it would be expanding service to Fort Lauderdale, with weekday flights out of Port Everglades to Bimini on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, along with existing Friday, Saturday and Sunday service from PortMiami.
The Fort Lauderdale service will begin Oct. 14.
Resorts World Bimini’s major project has generated much attention for the tiny island about 50 miles off the coast of Miami, and a significant increase in tourist arrivals.
Some of that has been controversy, however, particularly from environmentalists who have alleged damage to the marine environment as a result of the project.