A major new cruise port is coming to the island of Grand Bahama.
The government of the Bahamas has signed a heads of agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines for the new East Grand Bahama Cruise Port Development.
“The Government of The Bahamas has had a long and close association with Carnival which has been of great economic benefit to both parties,” said Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie. “This new cruise port initiative in East Grand Bahama will deliver a cruise port in the traditional sense, but more than that, its shore project will create a new ‘destination’ with a distinctive flavor and characteristics that offer the broadest Bahamian entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, representing another phase in the development of Grand Bahama as a viable tourist centre.”
The $100 million project is expected to be completed within two years, once the necessary agreements are in place.
That will be a boon to the island, which has been going through a difficult stretch following the severe impact of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
The facility will feature a one-mile stretch of beach, food, beverage and shopping outlets, a wide array of water-based amenities and other recreational facilities.
The port will also include a pier capable of accommodating two of Carnival’s largest ships simultaneously.
“When Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival and the modern day cruise industry, embarked on his first cruise, it was to The Bahamas. From that day until now, The Bahamas continues to be one of the most strategic and important destinations for our company.” Donald continued, “Signing this agreement today is especially meaningful to me, as we strive to further contribute to the prosperity of the people of The Bahamas through providing experiences that continue to exceed our guests’ expectations.”
The port is eventually expected to host up to 1 million cruise passengers each year.
“As a result of much negotiation with our private sector partners I stand proudly today, as Minister for Grand Bahama, with my colleagues and our partners at Carnival Cruise Lines, as we move one step closer toward the realization of a new cruise port in East Grand Bahama,” said Minister Michael Darville.
“Carnival Cruise Line is the leader in year-round cruising to The Bahamas and this new development will not only provide a truly extraordinary and one-of-a-kind destination experience for our guests but it will further solidify our partnership with the people of The Bahamas,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “In 2017, along with Carnival’s sister lines, Carnival Corporation will bring close to 3 million guests to The Bahamas via calls to Nassau, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, the latter two of which were developed and are operated by Carnival Corporation brands Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Collectively, we represent the single largest cruise company investor in The Bahamas.”
It’s the latest result of what is a concerted effort by the Bahamian government to push the cruise sector.
In March, the Bahamas signed a landmark agreement with Royal Caribbean for a redevelopment of its CocoCay destination in the Berry Islands and a new project aimed at developing tourism nationally in the country.