MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line is getting its own exclusive-use port on Grand Bahama Island, with a pier capable of accommodating two of Carnival’s largest cruise ships simultaneously and capacity for up to 1 million guests annually.
The new agreement between Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamian government, capping a deal that’s been in the works for almost two years, will bring the largest-ever cruise port development project to Grand Bahama Island, with a pier capable of accommodating two of Carnival’s largest cruise ships simultaneously and capacity for up to 1 million guests annually.
Carnival Cruise Line is one of the few major cruise lines without its own private Caribbean island, although it has access to sister line Holland America’s Half Moon Cay.
Officials from Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamian government signed the agreement during a signing ceremony in Freeport. The as-yet-unnamed planned port, funded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, will be the largest purpose-built cruise facility ever constructed in The Bahamas. Features will include a 1.6-kilometre stretch of beach, food, beverage and shopping outlets and an array of water-based amenities and other recreational facilities.
“Carnival Cruise Line is the leader in year-round cruising to The Bahamas and this new development will not only provide a truly extraordinary and one-of-a-kind destination experience for our guests but it will further solidify our partnership with the people of The Bahamas,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “In 2017, along with Carnival’s sister lines, Carnival Corporation will bring close to three million guests to The Bahamas via calls to Nassau, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, the latter two of which were developed and are operated by Carnival Corporation brands Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Collectively, we represent the single largest cruise company investor in The Bahamas,” Duffy added.
During the signing ceremony, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald said, “When Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival and the modern day cruise industry, embarked on his first cruise, it was to The Bahamas. From that day until now, The Bahamas continues to be one of the most strategic and important destinations for our company.” Donald continued, “Signing this agreement today is especially meaningful to me, as we strive to further contribute to the prosperity of the people of The Bahamas through providing experiences that continue to exceed our guests’ expectations.”
The Government of The Bahamas “has had a long and close association with Carnival which has been of great economic benefit to both parties,” added Prime Minister Perry G. Christie. “This new cruise port initiative in East Grand Bahama will deliver a cruise port in the traditional sense, but more than that, its shore project will create a new ‘destination’ with a distinctive flavour and characteristics that offer the broadest Bahamian entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, representing another phase in the development of Grand Bahama as a viable tourist centre.”
The project is subject to a public discussion process, environmental studies and permitting.