Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mahogany Bay Cruise Center in Roatan Officially Opens

The $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center at Roatan in the Bay Islands officially opened this week and began welcoming cruise ships. The Yachts of Seabourn’s’ 208-passenger Seabourn Legend arrived on Saturday, Nov. 28, followed by Princess Cruises’ 3,070-passenger Crown Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor. Reaction from cruise guests to the new facility has been outstanding.

This week’s ship visits are the first of 200 annual ship calls at the new facility, which is expected to host more than 500,000 passengers each year. In addition to the Yachts of Seabourn, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruises, vessels from Holland America, Costa Cruises, and P&O Cruises, as well as non-Carnival Corp brands, are expected to call at the new facility.

Similar to the facilities at the cruise center spearheaded by Carnival Corp in Grand Turk, the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center offers a welcome center along with a variety of retail outlets, including two themed bars, a restaurant and several shops in addition to a 2-ship cruise pier. A transportation hub with the ability to accommodate taxis, rental cars and tour buses, along with a wide range of shore excursion opportunities, which can be purchased on board the cruise vessels, are also available.

Unique to Mahogany Bay is a new chair lift system that takes cruise ship guests from the welcome center to beautiful Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre private island featuring an 825-foot-long white-sand beach with a beach volleyball court and myriad watersports opportunities. Eight exclusive cabanas are also available for rent. The “Magical Flying Beach Chair” takes guests on a six-minute ride across nearly 1,200 feet of suspended cables, providing not only convenient beach access but views of the lush countryside as well. All-day passes for the beach chair lift are $5 per person. An elevated path is also available for those who prefer to walk.

“The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center not only serves as a gateway to one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands but is also a destination unto itself, with a magnificent white-sand beach and a wide range of shops, restaurants and shore excursion opportunities,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of port and destination development for Carnival Corporation.

More than five years in development, and two years under construction, Mahogany Bay Cruise Center encompasses 20 acres of waterfront property and includes a two-berth cruise terminal which can accommodate up to 8,000 passengers daily. It is a joint project of Carnival Corp and Roatan businessman Jerry Hynds. For more information, visit the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center online.

Don't let the Travel Bloggers' Caravan pass you by!

Today's Caravan stop is where Andrew Hickey will be awarding Imagine: A Vagabond Story by Grant Lingel and $50 Magellan's gift certificate to the lucky winner.

Tomorrow the Caravan visits The Tranquilo Traveler where Joshua Berman will give away a copy of Moon Belize, accompanied with personal travel advice from the author about your trip


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