Carnival is building a new cruise port in the Bahamas, why it’s so important

After several setbacks, the Bahamas are making a comeback. Carnival Cruise Lines is breaking ground on a new ship terminal, positioning the island nation for a return of tourism.

modern port

The new cruise port is being built on the southern part of the island, about 20 miles east of Freeport. The 369-acre port will be able to accommodate two large cruise ships simultaneously and will house Bahamian-operated stores as well as a nature reserve and inland water feature. The name of the port has not yet been announced.

“Grand Bahamians have weathered life-changing challenges, particularly in recent years,” says Grand Bahama Ports Authority Vice President Sarah St. George. She describes the project as “transformative in the truest sense of the word.”

continuous delays

Carnival Corporation, which owns Carnival Cruise Lines, first signed the new port agreement with the Bahamian government in 2017, but almost immediately ran into snags. In 2019, the category five storm Hurricane Dorian hit the island causing widespread damage. The following year, the cruise industry took a huge hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, however, plans return to normal.

“With the start of this Carnival project, Grand Bahama is now on the better side of reaching its true economic potential,” said the Honorable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. “This investment will provide much-needed jobs, but it will also signal new hope for the island’s recovery.”

Carnival’s Bahamas Expansion

Carnival Cruise Lines is currently the number one visitor to the Bahamas. Its ships make numerous stops in Nassau, and the cruise line operates the private islands of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. The partnership with the Bahamian government solidifies Carnival’s commitment to expansion on the island. Carnival plans to have its ships Mardi Gras Y carnival celebration make stops at the new cruise port, beginning in late 2024.

“Our guests already love the Bahamas,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, “and we’re confident this new project will give them even more reason to want to visit.”

The cruise industry recovers

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the cruise industry hard, shutting it down entirely. Carnival Cruise Lines was the first cruise line to restart operations, sailing a select number of ships with limited capacity starting in July 2021. The last ship in the company’s fleet sailed from Seattle in May 2022. Other lines Major cruise ships including Norwegian, Celebrity, Disney and Holland America are sailing in some capacity and have plans for a full re-entry into the cruise industry.

As cruising returns to pre-pandemic levels, here’s a guide to help you decide the best cruise option, plus a look at our favorite cruise ships and how to enjoy a Disney cruise as an adult.

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