If all goes as planned, guests sailing on Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras will have a brand new port to visit beginning in late 2024. That’s because after several delays, construction began this week on Carnival’s new cruise port on Grand Bahama Island.
New Cruise Port Is “Transformational”
It was all the way back in 2017 that Carnival Corporation and the Government of the Bahamas first signed the agreement which outlined plans for the company to develop a section of Grand Bahamas Island for cruise ships. That original plan hit several snags, however, most notably the island being destroyed by Hurricane Dorian and the industry-wide shutdown which not only prevented ships from sailing but also put major development plans on hold.
At long last, however, things are back on track. “Grand Bahamians have withstood life-changing challenges, particular in recent years,” said Grand Bahama Port Acting Chairman Sarah St. George, who described the project as “transformational in the true sense of the word.”
Details on the New Bahamas Cruise Port
The 369-acre cruise port will be located on the southern portion of the island, just 20 miles east of Freeport. The project will include a pier capable of welcoming two Excel-class ships at the same time, with both Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration slated to begin making stops there toward the end of 2024.
The cruise port itself will feature an area designated as a nature reserve and an interior pool feature, Bahamian-operated retail venues, food, and beverage options for guests to enjoy.
Additional details on the design, features, and the name of the destination will be revealed over the coming months.
“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.”
Carnival Cruise Line, which has all of its ships currently homeported in North America, is the No. 1 visitor to The Bahamas. “Our guests already love the Bahamas,” said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy, “and we are certain this new project will give them even more reasons to want to visit.”
Carnival Corporation is no stranger to properties in The Bahamas, as it currently operates the private island Half Moon Cay and exclusive destination Princess Cays. Other port projects that Carnival Corporation has developed over the years is the Grand Turk Cruise Center in the Turks and Caicos Islands (2006) and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic (2015).
Carnival Cruise Line was the first major U.S. cruise line to have all its ships up and running after the cruise industry shutdown. The first ship, Carnival Vista, returned last July and the final vessel was Carnival Splendor, which set sail from Seattle last week.