Carnival Cruise Line has started the process of development of a “pierside berth” for Half Moon Cay, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein, who added that it will cause a “significant upside” in cruise guest traffic to the island, Cruise Industry News reported on its site.
According to website Cruise Industry News, Weinstein made the announcement during the company’s year-end and fourth quarter earnings call. He explained that the berth will be able to accommodate even Carnival’s big ships.
“We’ve also started the process for a significant upside in guest traffic at Half Moon Cay, our exclusive and beautiful pristine island destination in The Bahamas, with the creation of a pierside berth that can accommodate even our largest vessels,” said Weinstein.
The development of a pier has been talked about since 2019, when Carnival signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with the government for the development of a ship berth, as well as other landside developments, worth $80 million.
Carnival Corporation and its subsidiary Holland America Line share the private island development, Half Moon Cay.
It was hoped those developments would start mid-2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic struck, handicapping the cruise industry.
At the same time the cruise line signed the HOA for Half Moon Cay, it inked an agreement for the development of the private cruise port on Grand Bahama called Celebration Key, which is currently under construction and slated for a 2025 opening. Weinstein talked about that $500 million development on the year-end and fourth quarter earnings call, according to Cruise Industry News.
“We began construction on Celebration Key, which will be the largest and closest exclusive destination in our destination portfolio and a real game changer for Carnival Cruise Line,” Weinstein said.
“We’ll bring 18 Carnival ships departing from nine homeports to Celebration Key, and while we are still about 1.5 years from going live, we are already ramping up the awareness and excitement around the fantastic destination.”
Carnival has been apprising Bahamian businesses of how they can take advantage of the unique amenities the port will offer when it is open.
According to news website UPI.com, Carnival announced all-time high revenues in 2023, hitting $21.6 billion.
“The company was able to make debt payments of $6 billion, reducing its debt balance by $4.6 billion from its peak in the first quarter of 2023,” UPI said.
“The company is moving into the new year with its best booked position on record, for both price and occupancy, as well as $5.4 billion of liquidity.”