Harvest Caye, the new private destination for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH)’ cruise brands, has welcomed its first guests, who sailed in from New Orleans onboard the Norwegian Dawn.
Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH, led a ribbon cutting ceremony and official grand opening, where he was joined by the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize, Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize, and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Caye on Norwegian Cruise Line’s western Caribbean itineraries, as well as on select Caribbean sailings on Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises in winter 2017 and fall/winter 2018.
The new destination has the country's only cruise ship pier, a white sand beach, a 15,000 square foot pool, multiple dining options and access to the mainland for adventure tours, including explorations of Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more.
The beach spans seven acres, and offers guests the option of renting one of 11 luxury villas. The enclosed villas can accommodate up to 10 guests and come equipped with air conditioning, dedicated lounge and dining areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service.
The pool area has a swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables in the water, surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas. The cabanas, available for rent, have upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A footbridge spans the center of the pool, with a soothing waterfall feature below.
Harvest Caye is also home to a variety of adventure attractions, with a 130 foot tall Flighthouse serving as the central area for a number of aerial activities ranging from zip lining, suspension bridges to free fall jumps, a tandem “superman” style zip line and stunning views of the mainland. Harvest Caye’s zip line course has more than 3,000 feet of line, allowing guests to soar through the air with a bird’s eye view of the island and the sea, with stops at three different platforms. Flighthouse also has a ropes course on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye’s shallow lagoon area.
For dining, there are a number of à la carte options. Five dining and bar outlets serve a variety of cuisines, including a two-story indoor/outdoor Landshark Bar & Grill. An expansion of Norwegian’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, the Landshark Bar & Grill has a scenic upper deck and a swim-up pool bar. Those who want to sample Belizean cuisine will be able to enjoy casual street style dining in the shopping village. Additional dining options include the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill serving the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill servicing the island’s cabanas, as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.
The port's shopping village sells items from popular brand-name retailers as well as local craftsman.
For guests with an affinity for wildlife, there are opportunities to participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon; get up close and personal with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize’s national bird, in the island’s aviary; wonder at the striking beauty of insects at the Butterfly Garden; and learn more about and view Belize’s indigenous reptiles such as boa constrictors at the educational center. Harvest Caye’s conservation programs and education efforts were developed by award winning author and wildlife expert Tony Garel, the destination’s Chief Naturalist. He will lead many of the island’s educational tours and be available to chat with guests about the incredible array of wildlife in Belize. The island’s aviary also houses a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws, in an effort to increase the population of the native birds. To help further the island’s conservation efforts, more than 10,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island, serving to increase the natural estuary system that serves as a critical habitat for birds, young fish and other marine species.