Several cruise lines – including Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean – have come together in an effort to help transform Nassau’s troubled port. Having partnered with a group of Bahamian investors and a local bank, the lines now await word on whether or not their bid to take over the massive project will be accepted.
“This Is What We Do”
President and CEO of Royal Caribbean, Michael Bayley, told Nassau news outlet Tribune 242 that the collective was not so much interested in taking over the daily running of the port, as they were in helping the area regain its luster. Bayley also pointed out that they have a vested interest in the success of the project.
“It’s our business,” Bayley said. “This is what we do and have done for decades. I think we can bring a huge amount of expertise and commitment to the proposal that is slightly different from private entities that don’t really understand the [cruise] business.”
Given the popularity of the Bahamas as a destination, the cruise industry as a whole has a good reason for wanting to stave off rising reports of customer dissatisfaction with Nassau as a destination.
“The fact that the cruise lines are coming together to offer that proposal is a really strong endorsement of the future of the Bahamas as it relates to the future of the cruise industry,” said the exec.
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“Our intention is to be able to build infrastructure facilities that work really well for bringing the cruise ships to the Bahamas,” he continued, making it clear that the intent of the consortium is not to run the facilities once they have been overhauled. “The cruise [lines] are not necessarily interested in operating the port. We have projects all over the world, and they are primarily aimed at making sure that there are efficient facilities to accommodate the number of ships that come in.”
As for the actual running of the port, Bayley said he believes the local government has “a mechanism in place to ensure that it operates in a very distinct way.”
The Tribune recently reported that three different bids are currently being considered by the government. Bayley, however, believes the one put forth by the Nassau Cruise Port Group – on behalf of the cruise lines and their partners – is the area’s best bet.
“We have a massive amount of expertise and energy in this space,” he concluded.