British-American cruise operator Carnival Corporation and two of its cruise line brands have signed an agreement with the government of The Bahamas to build two major port developments.
The world's largest travel leisure company, with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels across 10 cruise line brands, said that it will develop a new cruise port destination 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 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time, said a press release.
The agreement was signed at the Prime Minister's Office in Grand Bahama at a ceremony that included Dr. The Most Honorable Hubert A. Minnis, prime minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Honorable K. Peter Turnquest; Senator The Honorable Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama; and other cabinet ministers.
Several Carnival Corporation and Carnival Cruise Line executives were also in attendance, including Giora Israel, David Candib, Armando Corpas and Marie McKenzie, all from Carnival Corporation's port and destination team and the leadership team for both new port projects. Also on hand were Terry Thornton and Chris Chiames, both representing Carnival Cruise Line.
"We are very pleased to announce that Carnival Corporation's projects in the Bahamas are full speed ahead," said Prime Minister Minnis. "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 projected to start by mid-2020. The projects 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 Corporation'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.
The two developments will allow Grand Bahama and Little San Salvador to welcome guests from the cruise industry's larger ships, such as Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras, which will debut in August 2020 as North America's first cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Mardi Gras will also be Carnival Cruise Line's largest and most innovative ship.
Holland America Line has over 40 scheduled cruises planned to The Bahamas through the end of 2019. Two of Holland America Line's newest ships, Koningsdam (delivered in 2016) and Nieuw Statendam (delivered in 2018), are both scheduled to visit Half Moon Cay this year.
The two projects will enhance the overall deployment choices and guest experiences in The Bahamas, which include Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. Six of Carnival Corporation's nine cruise line brands currently have calls to The Bahamas scheduled for the 2019-20 cruise season.