Carnival Corp and two of its cruise line brands have signed an agreement with the The Bahamas Government to build two major port developments.
Under the agreement, Carnival Corp will develop a new cruise port primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama, and construction of a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line’s Half Moon Cay port.
The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 mill, and the development on Little San Salvador will cost an estimated $80 mill over time.
“We are very pleased to announce that Carnival Corporation’s projects in the Bahamas are full speed ahead,” said Bahamian Prime Minister, Minnis (pictured, left). “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 due to start by mid-2020. They 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 Corp’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 Israel. “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.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, there is poignancy with the timing of (this) 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. 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.”
The two developments will allow Carnival Cruise Line’s ’Mardi Gras’ to berth, which will be delivered in August, 2020 as North America’s first cruise ship powered by LNG.
Six of Carnival Corp’s nine cruise line brands currently have calls to The Bahamas scheduled for the 2019-20 cruise season.
The new Grand Bahama destination will be developed on the south side of the island in co-operation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the government of The Bahamas. More details will be revealed over the coming months.
Half Moon Cay is located on the island of Little San Salvador and is visited by people sailing with Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line. The current development on the western side covers less than 3% of the 2,400-acre island and includes a tender marina. The new facility will be on the northern part of the island and include a pier able to accommodate larger ships.
Together, the development of the new port expansion and existing facilities on the island of Little San Salvador will account for only about 10% of the island.
In both developments, Carnival Corp and the government of The Bahamas have established several key objectives, with a high priority on protecting the local environment, using renewable energy, significantly reducing or eliminating single-use plastics and other items, and similar environmentally friendly initiatives, as well as working with local business interests to create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamian residents.
In addition to the new developments and cruising’s positive economic impact, Carnival Corp, its brands and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, are supporting recovery efforts in The Bahamas following the recent impact of Hurricane Dorian.
Initiatives include supporting the delivery of nearly 3,000 tonnes of food and supplies through donations and a partnership with Tropical Shipping. Two Carnival Cruise Line ships – ‘Carnival Liberty’ and ‘Carnival Pride’ – also recently visited Freeport to deliver relief supplies, including dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws and more.
In addition, Carnival Corp brands are conducting donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.
Separately, in co-ordination with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, $2 mill has been pledged in funding and in-kind support for the relief efforts.