Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s destination island in Belize, is set to open on Nov. 17, with the first call being made by the Norwegian Dawn.
The project has been at least three years in the making and will be the most elaborate island destination Norwegian Cruise Line has developed to date.
About seven acres have been groomed for guests who can choose between a long white-sand beach, a water sports lagoon or a 300,000 gallon tropical pool to start their recreation ashore.
The venue serves as the first landside outpost of Norwegian’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville franchise, with the debut a Landshark Bar & Grill in Belize. (There are Margaritaville restaurants on three Norwegian Cruise Line ships.)
There is a shopping village with Belizean products, art, food and drinks. Guests wanting to explore more of Belize can board two 275-person catamarans or 60-seat motorboats for the short ride to the mainland.
Towering above the action is the 130-foot tall “Flighthouse” that serves as the anchor for a pair of ziplines and an apparatus that drops guest from heights of 40, 60 or 100 feet before easing them gently to the sand at the end of the drop.
Unlike some private cruise destinations, Harvest Caye has a built-in dock so tenders aren’t needed. Guests walk through a ceremonial set of gates with the Harvest Caye name displayed in a wrought-iron arch.
The island’s buildings are made of rustic stone trimmed with mahogany and other native hardwoods. Landscaping includes 15,000 newly planted mangroves.
Eleven air-conditioned beach villas are available for rent, at $475 per villa. They accommodate six adults and feature a bathroom with a shower, a deck and Bluetooth connections for concierge services and music.
Also, there are 15 pool cabanas for rent at $199 for the day. The cabanas accommodate two adults. A beach clamshell with a pair of loungers is priced at $29.
Norwegian will offer a variety of watersports and toys. Mini speedboats are available for $69 for adults, $49 for children, and eco-friendly electric boats rent for $40. Kayaks rent for $25 and stand-up paddleboards for $20. The zipline attraction has packages starting at $59 for adults and $49 for children. There is a river float feature for $79/$59.
In the lagoon, Norwegian runs a wildlife boat tour for spotting manatees that costs $49/$39. Tours to see Mayan ruins run $89/69, or $109/$79 with an add-on visit to a spice plantation.
While the name Harvest Caye doesn’t sound particularly indigenous, Norwegian said it was the name used by Belize for the island before Norwegian arrived. “We choose not to change it,” a spokeswoman said.
After the initial call by the Norwegian Dawn sailing from New Orleans, Harvest Caye is scheduled to host the Norwegian Jade on Nov. 18, and then the Norwegian Getaway on Nov. 23. A call by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a cruise line owned by Norwegian Cruise Line’s parent company, is slated for January.