Carnival Corp. building private destination on Grand Bahama

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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.

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Carnival brands resume Bahamas calls

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Carnival Corp. said that its brands have resumed regular sailings to the Bahamas for the first time since Hurricane Dorian struck on Sept. 1.

The company’s private islands, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay, have resumed taking ship calls and Carnival’s three largest North American brands — Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line — together are projected to make over 250 sailings to the Bahamas through the end of 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line alone will make an estimated 204 calls through the remainder of the year, visiting Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays on eight of its ships.

Princess will return to with the Crown Princess’ arrival on October 9, and Holland America resumes Bahamas calls beginning Oct. 21, when the Zuiderdam arrives at Half Moon Cay.

Two Carnival ships — Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride — have made stops this week in Freeport to deliver relief supplies to assist residents, including dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws, prepared meals and medical supplies. 

Carnival Corp. chief communications officer Roger Frizzell said, “It is important to spread the word that much of the country had no or little impact and is open for business.”

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Holland America Line's Zuiderdam
PHOTO: Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam. (photo courtesy of Holland America Line)