new caribbean cruise port
Cayman Brac is a laid-back, quiet island about 90 miles from Grand Cayman.

The Cayman Islands Is Planning a New Boutique Cruise Destination 

By: Alexander Britell - April 11, 2024

Set 90 miles from the Cayman Islands’ tourism hub in Grand Cayman, a new cruise destination could soon be emerging in the Caribbean. 

The Cayman Islands is planning to develop a cruise pier on the island of Cayman Brac, Caribbean Journal has learned. 

Cayman Brac is a small, quiet, eco-centric destination with just a handful of boutique hotels, some great beaches, world-class diving and a growing adventure offering. 

The plan, Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan told Caribbean Journal, is to make Cayman Brac a boutique, small-ship destination, one that maintain’s the island’s relaxed identity and fulfills a priority of “quality, not quantity.”

The beach at the island’s top luxury hotel, Le Soleil d’Or.

That would mean a maximum of around three to four ships each week, with ships no greater than 2,500 in capacity and an emphasis on luxury, small-ship lines, Bryan told Caribbean Journal during the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami Beach. 

“The model is not going to be the traditional model where you have big ships coming in, even with a pier,” he said. “We want to keep it more toward small ships. That way we don’t have an abundance of persons traveling over to disrupt the flavor and flow of things.”

In other words, more St Barth than San Juan.  

“We’re planning to either build it ourselves or partner with a local business owner who is building an inland marine harbor called Port Zeus.”

Bryan said it began as a conceptual idea, and the government gauged interest from cruise lines to make sure it fit what they wanted. 

The plan is for a pier in 2026, and discussions have already begun with the cruise lines. 

A major priority, Bryan said, is to make sure the destination can build up numbers “where it’s comfortable.” 

That’s crucial for a sleepier, laid-back island where you can be on the road and not see a car for 15 minutes. 

“That is an attractive quality for some travelers, and we think that we can share that with them and offer up a more white-glove approach,” he said. 

Cayman Brac will be a unique destination. 

“Not every cruise line is going to be able to get this option because we want to keep it small,” he said. “We’re doubling down on the quality over quantity concept.”

That fits the trend in cruising at large, where more and more brands are looking at boutique ships, including new launches like the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Four Seasons’ Yachts. While those are on the smaller end of the spectrum, it’s likely the new Cayman Brac port would be the perfect port of call for lines like Regent, Windstar and Seabourn, to name a few. 

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