Norwegian Cruise Line has completed the first phase of enhancements at Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s 250-acre private island in the Bahamas. On Thursday, Feb 3, the new marina and dining facility opened for guests, representing a significant milestone in the more than $20 million enhancement project currently underway. Norwegian Sky’s 2,000 passengers were the first to experience the opening of the marina basin with four docks for the island’s tenders and the new 8,500 square foot dining facility, complete with two bars and four picnic pavilions.
“Both the new marina and the dining facility greatly enhance the guest experience on Great Stirrup Cay which is our second busiest port of call this year,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO. “By moving the tenders’ arrival to the marina and away from the beach, we have now opened up a great expanse of beachfront for our guests to enjoy and relax. We’ve also built a new large dining facility that is similar to the action station restaurants we have on board our Freestyle Cruising ships.”
The marina is approximately 12 feet deep at low water and is home to the island’s four tenders. It took more than eight months to excavate the basin and the entrance channel. The dining facility (pictured right) includes a central pizza making station, two grills, hot and cold food stations, as well as fresh fruits and breads. There are two full bars on either side of the facility for added convenience. The four pavilions, each more than 1800 square feet, offer picnic tables with a total seating capacity for more than 500 guests.
Enhancements to Great Stirrup Cay have been underway since January of 2010 and will continue through the end of this year. Several new island activities have been added since the project began including more than 16 wave runners, kayak rentals and an eco-adventure boat tour around the island. These are in addition to the existing snorkeling; floats; inflatable hippo slide; and parasailing. The second phase of enhancements includes an arrival/departure pavilion, additional bar facilities; several comfort stations; a band stand; cruise program activity area; private beachfront cabanas; a kid's play area; straw market; and beach volleyball courts. The beachfront will continue to be expanded on the island’s west end.
Norwegian has owned the island since 1977 when it became the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Great Stirrup Cay offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs.
Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sky, and Norwegian Pearl regularly call on Great Stirrup Cay throughout the year. For more information on Norwegian, visit NCL.com.