By the Caribbean Journal staff
What’s being billed as a “game-changing” project is coming to Nassau in The Bahamas.
Global Ports Holding, a leading global cruise port operator, has been selected as the winning bidder for a massive transformation of Nassau’s Prince George Wharf cruise port.
The $250 million Port Nassau project would dramatically redevelop a port that receives almost 4 million passengers every year.
“This project marks the beginning of a new Bahamian success story,” said Mehmet Kutman, Chairman of Global Ports Holding, which operates ports around the world handling 20,000 cruise passengers every day. “The Government of the Bahamas is opening doors to create the kinds of opportunities that will make life better for all Bahamians. As the successful bidder for the cruise port project, we are extremely pleased and honored to have been selected as the Government’s partners in this transformational process.”
The vision, Kutman said, is to turn the port and downtown Nassau “Nassau into a popular, world-class waterfront destination for visitors and Bahamians to enjoy.”
The $250 million proposal includes plans to transform the port into a “state of the art port and waterfront destination” managed by Nassau Cruise Port Ltd, a specialty purpose vehicle created for the project.
The proposal calls a completely transformed port and welcome center, additional “mega berths” to accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships, and a “state-of-the-art entertainment pavilion” for local and international acts and even a Bahamian Junkanoo Museum, among other amenities.
It will also feature a centerpiece waterfront that would rival “any, anywhere,” the company said.
The plan is also for striking architectural features to turn the port in an “iconic” destination.
It will be the third major port for Global Ports Holding, which also operates ports in Havana, Cuba and in Antigua.
“We want to make Nassau a port where people really want to come to again,” said Colin Murphy, GPH Head of Business Development for the Americas.
That includes getting cruise lines to stay in port longer — and to draw ships on longer itineraries beyond traditional three and four-night cruises.
What it all means is a another major step for what has already been a renaissance in downtown Nassau, from the rebirth of the historic quarter, led by the Graycliff Heritage Village, to the new Pointe development, headlined by a Margaritaville Resort and the One Particular Harbour residential resort.
“This will let Nassau take its place on the map of the world’s major waterfront destinations,” GPH said.