Left to right: Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Carnival Corporation’s Giora Israel (Image: Carnival Corporation)
Carnival Corporation is to collaborate with the Government of The Bahamas to build two major cruise port facilities for its brands – one on Grand Bahama and the other on the island of Little San Salvador.
Working with the government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Carnival Corporation will develop a new cruise port destination on the south side of Grand Bahama. The US$100 million facility will primarily be used by Carnival Cruise Line’s ships and will be a “uniquely Bahamian destination” with a beachfront and other yet-to-be-revealed features.
The cruise corporation will also invest US$80 million to expand cruise facilities on Little San Salvador for its Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line brands. Currently, vessels head to Half Moon Cay port on the western side of the island, but a new pier and port facilities will be added to the northern part of Little San Salvador to accommodate larger ships. Collectively, these facilities will take up 10% of the space on the 2,400-acre island, which enables Carnival Corporation to continue complying with its commitment to maintain the vast majority of the island as a nature preserve and wild bird sanctuary as outlined in its original purchase agreement.
Both facilities will be built to accommodate the cruise brands’ largest ships, including Carnival Cruise Line’s LNG-powered Mardi Gras (to debut in August 2020), and will enhance the overall deployment choice and guest experiences in The Bahamas.
“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,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. “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.”
Pending environmental and other permissions processes, both projects will start in mid-2020 and construction parameters will meet or exceed guidelines for being able to mostly withstand the impact of a Category 5 hurricane.
Key objectives outlined in the agreement include protecting the local environment, using renewable energy, and significantly reducing or eliminating single-use plastics and other items. Carnival Corporation and the government also aim to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamian residents, and find new ways to get involved in local cultural events, activities and organisations.
“We are very pleased to announce that Carnival Corporation’s projects in the Bahamas are full-speed ahead,” said Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. “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.”
The new cruise developments are expected to play a key role in The Bahamas’ recovery following the recent impact of Hurricane Dorian.
Carnival Corporation, its brands and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, have already supported recovery efforts by delivering nearly 3,000 tons of food and supplies through donations and a partnership with Tropical Shipping. Two Carnival Cruise Line ships have also delivered dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws and other relief supplies to Freeport. In addition, Carnival Corporation brands are conducting donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than US$500,000 to the two organisations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, there is poignancy with the timing of today’s agreement and as we prepare for the pre-construction phase of these projects to begin early next year, they will provide jobs and a major boost to the recovery and rebuilding effort,” said Israel. “At the same time, it is important to point out that much of The Bahamas experienced little impact from the storm. In fact, three of our brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – announced two weeks ago that they are resuming regular sailings to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays this and next month, which is great news for the country. And now, with today’s agreement, our new projects will continue to build on the country’s reputation as one of our most popular destinations, while also providing jobs and economic impact that will support the effort to recover and rebuild, stronger than ever.”
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