With a strong showing of validation of the cruise industry’s return and optimism, and reflecting a long-standing partnership between Carnival Cruise Line and The Bahamas, Carnival, in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government of The Bahamas, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama Island.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy; Bahamas Prime Minister The Honourable Philip Davis; Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister The Honourable I. Chester Cooper; Minister for Grand Bahama The Honourable Ginger Moxey; and The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman Sarah St. George; along with Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald and representatives from Carnival Corporation and the local community used ceremonial shovels to officially mark the beginning of construction.
“With the start of this Carnival project, Grand Bahama is now on the better side of reaching its true economic potential,” said The Honourable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. “This investment will provide much needed jobs but will also signal new hope for the island’s recovery.”
The new Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port destination, expected to open in late 2024, is being developed on the south side of the island and will continue to serve as a gateway to Grand Bahama while also offering guests a uniquely Bahamian experience with many exciting features and amenities, along with business opportunities for the residents of Grand Bahama.
“As we celebrate our 50-year partnership with The Bahamas, today’s groundbreaking on our incredible new Grand Bahama destination represents an opportunity to collaborate with the government and people of Grand Bahama – to contribute to the local economy through job and business opportunities, meaningfully engage with local communities, and further expand our experience offerings for our guests who will have a breathtaking new port of call to enjoy,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “Our sincere thanks to the government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority for their continued support as we begin construction. Our guests already love The Bahamas, and we are certain this new project will give them even more reason to want to visit.”
The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman Sarah St. George commented: “The new Carnival cruise port destination will have a monumental impact on our island’s economy, including a panoply of new business opportunities, a huge surge in tourist visitors, as well as increased activities for established businesses. It is transformational in the true sense of the word. We are immensely grateful to Carnival for choosing Freeport and Grand Bahama for this flagship project. Today, we mark this incredible achievement made possible by the efforts of Carnival with The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Port Group Limited, the Grand Bahama Development Company and Freeport Harbour Company, and the Government of The Bahamas. A project of this magnitude is only possible through genuine collaboration. Grand Bahamians have withstood life-changing challenges, particularly in recent years. Despite these, Carnival never wavered in their commitment to building their next cruise port in Freeport. We are very proud to have played our part to the best of our ability towards making this a reality.”
The cruise port development includes a pier able to accommodate up to two Excel-class ships simultaneously welcoming guests to a stunning white-sand beach The Bahamas are known for. Guests will be able to explore and enjoy Grand Bahama by way of sea, via a dedicated shore excursion dock, or by land, via the dedicated ground transportation hub. The cruise port itself will also feature an area designated as a nature reserve and an interior pool feature, along with many Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options for guests to enjoy.
“The Carnival groundbreaking is very significant to the residents of Grand Bahama. This development signals opportunities for creatives, vendors, and small and medium sized businesses, and represents our commitment to collaboration with local and international partners for the betterment of our island,” said The Honourable Ginger M. Moxey, Minister for Grand Bahama.
The cruise pier will allow Grand Bahama to welcome guests from Carnival’s larger ships, such as the 5,282-passenger Mardi Gras, which debuted in 2021 as the line’s largest and most innovative ship and North America’s first cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and Carnival Celebration, sister ship to Mardi Gras, which will begin sailing from Miami later this year.
Added Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investment and Aviation The Honourable I. Chester Cooper: “The cruise port is an integral part of our plan to restore Grand Bahama to economic viability. Carnival will play a critical role in stimulating our economy and shining a light on Grand Bahama as a rejuvenated and premier destination in our country and the region. We believe the excitement of what is happening on Grand Bahama will be contagious.”
Today’s event was an important next step as construction gets underway. Additional details on the design, features and the name of the cruise port destination will be revealed over the coming months as Carnival finalizes its plans to maximize the fun for their guests and the opportunities to partner with local businesses and other stakeholders.