The Minister of Tourism in the Bahamas has announced a major redevelopment of Port Nassau’s cruise facilities to eliminate the “harassing type environment” that many cruise passengers currently face when they disembark.
Global Ports Holding has been granted a 25-year concession deal for Nassau through a joint venture with Bahamian interests and will invest around US $250-million in a total redevelopment of the cruise terminals, adding a waterfront park, village, amphitheatre, shops, restaurants, and more.
The plan is part of a broader effort by the Bahamian government to transform the downtown area of the capital.
“Obviously a commitment to Bahamian ownership and Bahamian involvement is critical because Bahamians need to become a functional part of the economy by owning and being able to conduct business in the economy,” Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) chief executive, Jeffrey Beckles told Tribune Business.
“At the end of the day, the transformation of downtown includes all of what is going to happen at the port,” he added. “The revival of Bay Street and the northern foreshore of Bay Street is key to our economic growth as well because not only will it provide for Bahamians to be involved but cause there to be a greater attraction for the city of Nassau and commerce and come alive in the downtown district.”
The port’s capacity after the redevelopment will be eight ships per day and the Nassau Cruise Port joint venture is expected to generate US $35-$40-million in annual revenues for the local economy.
“Port Nassau will be a cruise destination unlike any other. Upon arriving, cruisers will enjoy a fantastic modern waterfront that will rival any cruise port in the Caribbean,” according to a media release by Nassau Cruise Port.
The port will feature open, upscale restaurants and large LED signs. It will have unique architectural features intended to make Port Nassau iconic as a cruise destination, and at night, Port Nassau will transform with laser light shows, illuminated sculptures, and walkways.
Construction of the redeveloped cruise port area is expected to be completed by 2022.