Carnival Corporation and the Government of the Bahamas have signed an agreement for the development of two major projects: a new cruise port destination primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama Island and the construction of a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, which is 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, the company said.
Once environmental and other permitting processes are completed, construction for both projects is projected to start by mid-2020. Carnival Corp. said that 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 handle larger cruise ships, such as Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which will debut in August 2020 as the largest ship in the cruise line’s fleet.
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, Carnival Corp. said. Six of the company’s nine cruise line brands currently have calls to The Bahamas scheduled for the 2019-20 cruise season.
Carnival Cruise Line's new Grand Bahama destination will be developed on the south side of the island in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the government of The Bahamas. More details on what’s planned will be announced in the coming months.
The new addition on Little San Salvador will be on the northern part of the island and include a pier able to accommodate larger ships. Carnival Corp. said that the new expansion and the existing facilities will account for approximately 10 percent of the island, leaving the rest untouched, as committed to in the original purchase agreement to maintain the vast majority of the island as a nature preserve and wild bird sanctuary.
In both developments, Carnival Corporation 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, Carnival Corp. said.
In addition to these new projects, Carnival Corp.’s brands and its philanthropic arm, the Carnival Foundation, are supporting the destination’s recovery efforts. Initiatives include supporting the delivery of nearly 3,000 tons 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 Corporation brands are conducting donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $500,000 to the two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.
Separately, in coordination with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, $2 million has been pledged in funding and in-kind support for the relief efforts.
Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays received little impact from Hurricane Dorian, which primarily affected Grand Bahama and the Abacos.