Thursday, August 7, 2014

Carnival Corp to Develop Port Facility in Tortuga, Haiti

Some of our fondest memories are of days ashore on cruise lines' idyllic "private islands" in the Caribbean. Swimming in the crystal clear water or just lounging on the powdery sand beach without the nuisance of hiring a taxi to get there (and back to the ship) are many passengers' idea of heaven and private islands are often cited as the 'best' port on Caribbean itineraries.

It looks like we will have a new one to look forward to visiting as Carnival Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on July 31st that calls for the development of a new cruise port in Tortuga, an island just off the northern coast of Haiti. Per the Letter of Intent, the amount of investment is $70 million and represents the largest cruise industry investment ever made in Haiti, providing a new and exciting destination for ship itineraries traveling in the Caribbean. This also represents a major commitment to the people of Haiti by Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, with nine brands and dozens of ships operating in the Caribbean, the world's most popular region for cruise vacations.

The development will create an opportunity for passengers to enjoy a new, secluded, and stunning destination on the island of Tortuga that the company expects will become a highly popular place for years to come. Additionally, this commitment will initially stimulate significant development and construction activities, and then tourism business once the port is open, that will create a tremendous economic impact for the people of Haiti. Initial estimates indicate that Carnival Corporation will employ more than 900 people directly and indirectly, and the project will be an anchor for further development on the island. The company is working with the Haitian people and government to build Tortuga into a popular and economically sustainable Caribbean destination.

This commitment to Haiti is part of Carnival Corporation's larger investment in the Caribbean as a whole. The Caribbean is a crucial market for the success of Carnival Corporation and the cruise industry in general and the company remains committed to creating new and exciting products in the region. The Caribbean is not only the most popular region for cruise vacations, but it is also where Carnival Corporation's roots are, and where the company's nine brands deploy a large number of ships that set sail with millions of guests every year.

As they work to develop more diverse itineraries in the region, this new port will complement other popular destinations in the area, including the other Carnival-owned ports of Mahogany Bay, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk (pictured above), Puerta Maya, and Amber Cove—another new Carnival Corporation port being developed in Puerta Plata, founded by Christopher Columbus on the north coast of the Dominican Republic and scheduled to open in 2015.

No word yet on whether there will be docking facilities at Tortuga, but we would be surprised if they aren't in the plans!

Image: Carnival Liberty Docked at Grand Turk ©

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