Carnival Cruise Line announced last week that it plans to open what the company called a “mega” cruise port in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
According to the Caribbean Journal, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the new port is expected to be completed in late 2021 and will create at least 1,000 jobs during the construction process.
When completed, the Freeport location will be the largest Carnival cruise port in the world. Royal Caribbean International is also developing plans for a new port in the Bahamian city.
While the blockbuster announcement is being celebrated by many in the government, others have raised concerns that cruise lines will call on Nassau less in the future if the Freeport projects come to fruition.
Bahamas Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar told the Tribune Business that officials in Nassau have “nothing to be afraid of” from Freeport’s two mega cruise ports. He said the country needs to open up even more to travelers and strength the cruise tourism industry.
D’Aguilar hopes the pressure from the Freeport expansion will help expedite the upgrades needed in both the port and downtown area of Nassau, leading to an influx of travelers arriving in the city.
“I disagree with the view that, because Royal Caribbean and Carnival are building ports in Freeport, that will have a negative impact on Nassau,” D’Aguilar told the Tribune Business. “There are 90 ships in construction, and demand is growing significantly for cruise vacations.”
“It’s wise to allow for additional options for the cruise lines as they are growing the number of ships every year and, as passengers demand more cruise vacations, it behooves us to make more of our country available to them,” D’Aguilar continued.
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