Carnival Corp. and the Bahamas government signed development agreements that pave the way for a Carnival-run port destination on Grand Bahama and the expansion of the company’s private island Half Moon Cay.
Among other things, the agreements provide for the construction of a pier at Half Moon Cay, which until now has been a tender port.
Carnival said the Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador, where Half Moon Cay is situated, will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.
Once environmental and other permitting processes are completed, construction for both projects is projected to start by mid-2020.
Carnival and the Bahamas said the projects are expected to play an important role in the country’s recovery from Hurricane Dorian. They said construction parameters will be designed to meet or exceed guidelines for “being able to mostly withstand the impact of a Category 5 hurricane.” Carnival’s plans for both projects were laid well before Dorian.
The Grand Bahama project is intended primarily for Carnival Cruise Line and will be its first dedicated private destination in the Bahamas.
Some Carnival Cruise Line ship call at Half Moon Cay, which is primarily used by Holland America Line.
Carnival Corp. said the current development on the western side of Little San Salvador covers less than 3% of the 2,400-acre island. The new addition will be on the northern part of the island and include a pier able to accommodate larger ships. The beaches of Half Moon Cay will continue to be the main attraction, Carnival said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has asked cruise lines to further help in the Bahamas by providing housing assistance in a post on Twitter.
“The @USCG, @FEMA, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas that were not hit – and that are in good condition. Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!”
Cruise lines are no stranger to lending their ships for aid as FEMA previously chartered the Carnival Fascination and Grand Celebration following hurricanes in 2017; Carnival also chartered ships to FEMA following Hurricane Katrina to help house emergency workers.
Displaced residents and emergency workers in Grand Bahama will be short on housing, with cruise ships, ferries and accommodation vessels potentially being able to assist.
The cruise lines have stepped up significantly in the Bahamas, delivering supplies, relief workers and even helping to evacuate.