The Caribbean remains the region with the most cruise industry deployment, yet cruise passengers increasingly are "repeaters" who seek something new and different for their port call experiences. Soon, a new mainland Honduras port will help cruise lines fill that need.
Today, Banana Coast (www.bananacoast.com), a new $30 million cruise port project at Trujillo, announced it had signed Holland America Line (www.hollandamerica.com) as the first cruise line to regularly schedule calls.
Holland America Line's 1,260-passenger Ryndam is slated to call at Banana Coast 11 times between 2014 and 2015; those calls will be included in western Caribbean itineraries.
That ship's Nov. 19, 2014, call will become Banana Coast's first scheduled visit by any major cruise ship.
Banana Coast boasts a curved bay with a white sandy beach. That's steps away from a Colonial port city and the destination lies in the shadow of a 4,052 foot-high mountain.
Explorer Christopher Columbus landed at Trujillo in 1502 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. The destination's history is filled with periods of Spanish and French colonialism and piracy.
"Banana Coast is a fresh, exciting destination with limitless potential, tucked inside the calm, protected waters of the Bay of Trujillo," said Simon Douwes, director of deployment and itinerary planning at Holland America Line.
He said the innovative and diverse portfolio of shore excursions will appeal to all interests and those seeking rest and relaxation will find it on one of Banana Coast's beautiful beaches.
The Banana Coast project is themed around "Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea." Construction on its passenger-reception and shopping center was completed in February.
In March 2012, the port destination's developers unveiled a diverse shore excursion program including cultural, historical, soft-adventure and eco-tour offerings.
Future plans call for construction of a two-berth, post-Panamax pier.
"Having a premium cruise line like Holland America Line recognize the exciting opportunities of regularly calling at Banana Coast is a testament to the work we've put into making the port the hottest new destination in the Caribbean," said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Authoridad, which owns the port.
Silversea Cruises' (www.silversea.com) Silver Cloud will also call at the new port on Dec. 17, 2014.
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