Carnival Corporation & plc has officially opened Amber Cove, the Caribbean’s first new cruise destination in nearly ten years.
Developed as part of a joint project between Carnival Corporation and the Rannik family of Grupo B&R, the US$85 million Amber Cove facility is the largest cruise industry investment in the Dominican Republic to date.
Amber Cove has two berths that can accommodate up to two large post-Panamax cruise ships simultaneously and a 25-acre landside development with recreational amenities and a transportation centre. The destination reflects the region’s colonial past and features cobblestone plazas with themed restaurants, bars, a marketplace with locally sourced crafts and souvenirs, a zip line and complimentary pool area with a swim-up bar, children’s splash pad and water slides. In addition, guests can reserve a private beachside bungalow with a personal chef, bartender and staff
The port, which hosted its first cruise ship when Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista called on 6 October, was inaugurated during a ceremony on 2 November. It was attended by Danilo Medina, president of the Dominican Republic; Francisco Javier Garcia, minister of tourism for the Dominican Republic; Jeffrey Rannik, president of B&R Group; and Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. Several other key Carnival Corporation executives were also present.
“We are always looking for new ways to create wonderful vacation memories for our guests, and we cannot wait to share the excitement of opening our new Amber Cove cruise port,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We know our guests love the Caribbean and today celebrates our beautiful new port and the beginning of us bringing our guests to one of the most unique, spectacular and historic regions in the Caribbean.”
While in Amber Cove, guests can choose from at least 40 different shore excursions including cross-country adventures in 4x4 Terracross buggies, water sports, horseback riding on the beach, snorkelling and swimming in a natural river pool. They can also travel via speedboat to Paradise Island, one of the Caribbean’s top snorkelling and scuba diving spots, or visit rural coffee plantations to sample traditional Dominican cuisine, rum and seasonal fruit. Ocean World, one of the region’s largest marine adventure parks, and the historic town of Puerto Plata, named by Christopher Columbus when he discovered the island in 1492, will also be within easy reach.
Carnival Victory’s 6 October visit signalled the return of regular cruise calls to the Dominican Republic’s north coast in nearly 30 years. The port is already scheduled to welcome calls from 23 ships across eight of Carnival Corporation’s ten cruise brands and around 350,000 guests in the first year of operation.
Some of the ships scheduled to visit over the next six months include Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, P&O Cruises’ Azura, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAvita, Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa, Holland America Line’s Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Fantasy, Splendor, Valor, Sunshine, Conquest and Breeze.
“It is an honour to bring Carnival Corporation guests to Amber Cove, which is absolutely beautiful, and to re-establish regular cruise visits to the Puerto Plata from major cruise brands for the first time in nearly 30 years,” said Alan Buckelew, COO at Carnival Corporation. “It is just as exciting to know that we will be bringing guests to the newest destination in the Caribbean, the world’s most popular region for cruising. We are all looking forward to Amber Cove and Puerto Plata quickly becoming a very popular port of call.”