|All photos courtesy of Banana Coast|
Executives from Banana Coast, Honduras — a new $30 million Caribbean cruise destination under construction — unveiled the port’s initial tour line-up during a press conference at Cruise Shipping Miami in Miami Beach this week.
The destination's tag line is "Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea,” so tours have been designed to enable cruise guests to explore from land, air and sea. The destination's signature tour is "Campo del Mar Nature Park & Beach Break." Other tours encompass everything from a VIP airplane tour to a zipline adventure, a culinary tasting tour to a trolley ride through the colonial town of Trujillo.
“Banana Coast Tours has put together a collection of shore excursions that highlight the charms of the colonial Spanish town of Trujillo, the historic surrounding areas, the beautiful seashore and the lush tropical rainforests,” said Shannon McKee, director of Banana Coast Tour Company. “There are few Caribbean cruise destinations that are able to offer cruise lines such a wide array of shore excursions as Banana Coast.”
Dredging, marine works and site-fill work is progressing at the Banana Coast site. Plans for Banana Coast call for construction of a two-berth dock capable of accommodating large, post-Panamax ships.
The destination will also sport a 50,000-square-foot shopping facility and transportation hub on 10 acres of beachfront land.
Flying in for a site visit last month were Jose Negron, director, port operations, port and destination development, Carnival Corp.; Frederico Gonzalez, director of government and community relations, Caribbean and Latin America, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and Colin Murphy, vice president of destination and strategic development for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Banana Coast says it's taking reservations for cruise ship visits in 2013. Here's a look at the initial shore excursions as described by the tour company:
Guaimoreto Zipline Adventure
Travel at exhilarating speeds through a labyrinth of 18 towers while enjoying incredible views of the Guaimoreto Lagoon with its system of mangroves, canals and a multitude of bird and animal species.
Jungle ATV Extreme
Ride through the jungles of Honduras on your own all-terrain vehicle. Relish this off-road adventure through the magnificent cloud forest with spectacular views and unlimited fun. Cool off with an ocean dip and then indulge in an outdoor barbecue party.
Reef & Starfish Snorkel
Experience the waters that Christopher Columbus discovered 500 years ago in the Cayo Blanco eco-system. Here you’ll experience the underwater magic of colorful coral and vibrant fish before you continue your travels over the azure seas to the unique starfish bank. Dive beneath the pristine waters to get your own “touch” experience with these beautiful ocean creatures.
Ruins of Copan
Soar via private plane over the breathtaking mountains and rainforests of Honduras on your way to the legendary ruins of Copan, a feature attraction with its rich stone sculptures and intricate hieroglyphics. Discover with a private guide this Mayan civilization that flourished for more than 2,000 years and was thought to be one of the most lavish cultural centers in the New World.
Tried & True
Trujillo by Trolley
Discover the highlights of the colonial town of Trujillo on board an open-air trolley train. You’ll learn about Christopher Columbus’ landing here in 1502, American filibuster William Walker, the Santa Barbara Fort, the escape of the Garifuna people and more, all while relaxing in the cool ocean breeze. Hop-on. Hop-off. Discover the sights at your leisure.
Best of Trujillo
Combine the history of the trolley train, cultural diversity of the Garifuna, the flora and fauna of Campo del Mar, the intricate eco-system of the Guaimoreto Lagoon and the natural wonders of the hot springs — and you’ll experience the best of Trujillo.
Taste of Trujillo
Local cuisine, wine, bitters and chocolate — all made the traditional way. Journey through time on a tasting tour that will take you to the days of the banana boom, the tall ships with their controversial cargo and finally, the legendary Mayans. Experience how it was done not just 100 years ago, but 1,000 years ago. An educational, yet deliciously satisfying, sensation for your taste buds.
Fun in the Sun
Campo del Mar Nature Park & Beach Break
Circulate among the 22 acres of flora and fauna, drink from a coconut, make a few animal friends and just bask in the warmth of the sun on the unspoiled beaches to truly immerse yourself in the delights of Campo del Mar. Cool off with an ocean dip for a perfect day.
Waterfall & Lagoon Adventure
With two large mountains and multiple rivers, waterfalls are everywhere at Banana Coast. Trek through a small local village, wade through streams and hike quartz-filled hills to discover the hidden waterfalls and lagoon of Betulia. Swim in the refreshing mountain stream lagoon, snorkel for fresh-water shrimp or explore the riverside.
Guaimoreto Lagoon Kayak
Discover the delicate bio-diverse ecosystem found in the mangroves as you kayak through the fascinating Guaimoreto Lagoon, which encompasses a complex area of wetlands rich in birdlife, flora, fauna and indigenous Central American animals.