Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement with the government of The Bahamas to build two major port developments, one on Grand Bahama and the other at Half Moon Cay on the island of Little San Salvador.
The agreement finalises previously announced plans to add a cruise pier at Half Moon Cay, home to Holland America Line’s award-winning cruise destination, and Carnival Cruise Line’s plans to develop a new greenfield cruise port on Grand Bahama.
The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time, according to a press release.
“We are very pleased to announce that Carnival Corporation’s projects in the Bahamas are full speed ahead,” said Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. “These developments and the significant investment in world-class tourism and hospitality operations are such a boon for our initiatives for national prosperity and economic stability.”
Once environmental and other permitting processes are completed, construction for both projects is projected to start by mid-2020. The projects are expected to play an important role in the country’s recovery from the recent impact of Hurricane Dorian.
As part of the development, Carnival Corporation’s plans include construction parameters that are designed to meet or exceed guidelines for being able to mostly withstand the impact of a Category 5 hurricane.
“This is an exciting day for all of us involved with these two extraordinary development projects,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. “We have been working with the prime minister and his staff for some time with a shared vision for our design plans, and we want to extend our sincere gratitude for their collaboration and partnership.”
“Our collective goal is to maintain the reputation of The Bahamas as one of our most popular and welcoming destinations for years to come, and it is very rewarding to see our joint vision finalised with today’s agreement,” he added.
The new cruise destination in Grand Bahama (reportedly called Grand Port) will be capable of accommodating Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which will debut in August 2020 as North America’s first cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Mardi Gras, one of Carnival Corp’s Excel-class ships, will also be Carnival Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship to date.
The addition of a cruise pier at Half Moon Cay meanwhile, will make port calls to the destination more reliable (tendering ashore is weather-dependent) and will also make the island accessible to the new Excel-class ships.
Holland America Line, which owns Half Moon Cay (but it is also used by Carnival Cruise Line) has more than 40 scheduled cruises planned to The Bahamas through the end of 2019.
Two of Holland America Line’s newest ships, Koningsdam (delivered in 2016) and Nieuw Statendam (delivered in 2018), are both scheduled to visit Half Moon Cay this year.
The two projects will enhance the overall deployment choices and guest experiences in The Bahamas, which include Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.
Six of Carnival Corporation’s nine cruise line brands currently have calls to The Bahamas scheduled for the 2019-20 cruise season.