Earlier this month, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), in co-operation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government of The Bahamas, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama Island.
CCL President, Christine Duffy; Bahamas Prime Minister, The Hon Philip Davis; Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon I Chester Cooper; Minister for Grand Bahama, The Hon Ginger Moxey; and The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman, Sarah St George; along with Carnival Corp’s CEO, Arnold Donald and representatives from Carnival Corp and the local community used ceremonial shovels to officially mark the beginning of construction.
“With the start of this Carnival project, Grand Bahama is now on the better side of reaching its true economic potential,” said Bahamian Prime Minister, Davis. “This investment will provide much needed jobs but will also signal new hope for the island’s recovery.”
The new Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port destination, expected to open in late 2024, is being developed on the south side of the island and will continue to serve as a gateway to Grand Bahama, while also offering guests a uniquely Bahamian experience with many features and amenities, along with business opportunities for Grand Bahama residents.
“As we celebrate our 50-year partnership with The Bahamas, the groundbreaking on our incredible new Grand Bahama destination represents an opportunity to collaborate with the government and people of Grand Bahama – to contribute to the local economy through job and business opportunities, meaningfully engage with local communities, and further expand our experience offerings for our guests who will have a breathtaking new port of call to enjoy,” said Carnival’s Duffy.
“Our sincere thanks to the government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority for their continued support, as we begin construction. Our guests already love The Bahamas, and we are certain this new project will give them even more reason to want to visit,” she said.
St George commented: “The new Carnival cruise port destination will have a monumental impact on our island’s economy, including a panoply of new business opportunities, a huge surge in tourist visitors, as well as increased activities for established businesses. It is transformational in the true sense of the word.
“We are immensely grateful to Carnival for choosing Freeport and Grand Bahama for this flagship project. We mark this incredible achievement made possible by the efforts of Carnival with The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Port Group Limited, the Grand Bahama Development Co and Freeport Harbour Co, and the Government of The Bahamas.
“A project of this magnitude is only possible through genuine collaboration. Grand Bahamians have withstood life-changing challenges, particularly in recent years. Despite these, Carnival never wavered in their commitment to building their next cruise port in Freeport. We are very proud to have played our part to the best of our ability towards making this a reality,” she said.
The development will include a pier able to accommodate up to two ‘Excel’-class ships simultaneously. Guests will be able to explore and enjoy Grand Bahama by way of sea, via a dedicated shore excursion dock, or by land, via the dedicated ground transportation hub. The cruise port will also feature an area designated as a nature reserve and an interior pool feature, along with many Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options.
The cruise pier will allow Grand Bahama to welcome guests from Carnival’s larger ships, such as the 5,282-pax ’Mardi Gras’, which was delivered last year, as the line’s largest and most innovative ship and North America’s first cruise ship powered by LNG, and her sistership ‘Carnival Celebration’, which will begin sailing from Miami later this year.
Additional details on the design, features and the name of the cruise port destination will be revealed over the coming months, as Carnival finalises its plans and takes the opportunity to partner with local businesses and other stakeholders, the company said.