The Cayman Islands Government has received a formal financial commitment from MSC Cruises to provide funding toward the costs of constructing a cruise terminal.
MSC Cruises is the fourth cruise company to financially commit to the cruise berth project, following Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney.
Cayman Islands Premier, Hon Alden McLaughlin (pictured),said that having four cruise lines signed on to the cruise berthing project provides tremendous benefit to the Cayman Islands.
“These agreements, coupled with the finance to be provided by whichever entity is eventually selected as the preferred bidder on the project, ensure that no public funding will be required to build the cruise berths and enhanced cargo facility,” he said.
“As well as strengthening the project’s financing structure, having cruise companies financially vested in the project provides assurance that the country’s finances will not be exposed to risk and is a positive indication of their commitment to our Islands for decades to come. It is a win-win situation for the country, the preferred bidder and the cruise lines,” he added.
Minister for Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnel, said; “This agreement represents the accomplishment of another key milestone in the lifecycle of this project. MSC operates more than 1,000 routes globally and is one of the fastest growing cruise companies in the world. Their commitment to the Cayman Islands will help to sustain and grow our cruise tourism industry into the future.”
The project is now in its sixth year and has undergone a rigorous procurement process to identify a preferred bidder to construct the berthing facility within a design, build, finance and maintain framework. The Port Authority of the Cayman Islands will continue to own, operate and manage the facility, as it does today, the government said.