Nassau Cruise Port, managed by Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH), will serve as critical partner in the restart of cruise tourism in the Caribbean in June and July.
Both Crystal Cruises and Royal Caribbean International while use Nassau Cruise Port (NCP) as a homeport as they relaunch Caribbean cruising. NCP falls under the GPH portfolio.
In addition, GPH said it was seeing interest in using Antigua as a homeport as well, which also falls under its management.
“We are extremely excited to participate in the relaunch of cruising in the region,” said Mike Maura, Jr., Global Ports Holding Regional Director, Americas, and CEO of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. “While home port service may not have been a part of the short-term strategy for Nassau one year ago, we are more than willing to speed up our plans and adapt to ensure the survival of the industry.”
“This opportunity could not have been achieved without a strong commitment to the trilateral partnership between key contributors to this process – Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., the Government of The Bahamas, and our cruise line partners” he added. “Each entity works together to ensure that everyone has what they need to make this work. NCP collaborates with the government to contribute to policy and regulation development to ensure that the best interests of our communities are maintained; the government collaborates with the cruise lines on health protocols, contractual matters, and other details to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership exists on an ongoing basis; and NCP works with the cruise lines to ensure that their operational, passenger experience, and other needs are met at the port. It takes a lot of teamwork, coordination, listening, and flexibility to achieve such effective collaboration. We appreciate the constant support of all our partners in making this kind of progress possible.”
He continued: “At its peak, vessels that homeport here will potentially bring thousands of new passengers to Nassau annually, which is not only significant for us but for other local industry players as well. This opening will generate an extensive amount of economic activity for hotels, tour operators, taxis, and other tourism stakeholders as this area of our business grows.”
In Nassau, homeport operations will begin amid ongoing construction as general contractor, ENKA, completes the marine works and launches plans to start the upland development.
Maura, Jr. noted: “NCP has been accredited with a Safe Travels certification which was awarded by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) in August 2020. Additionally, as part as Global Ports Holding network of ports, NCP is applying the GPH health and safety protocols for operations. We are amending our operational plans in response to this very exciting opportunity so that passengers remain unaffected by the evolution of our project. Every aspect of their experience is being planned and reviewed to ensure the success of this venture.”
Colin Murphy, GPH Head of Business Development, Americas, shed light on the potential future of home port operations in both destinations.
“The ability to give cruise lines the option to homeport presents a massive opportunity for Nassau and Antigua, making partnerships with our ports even more critical in influencing the regional success of the industry,” said Murphy. “Fortunately, GPH has an extensive experience in home port operations in many of its Mediterranean ports. We are sharing the knowledge that these ports have with our Caribbean teams to assist with developing port-specific home port protocols. This is one of the many benefits that these destinations have experienced in partnering with GPH. Since our business is entirely focused on port management and operations, the teams in Nassau and Antigua have an opportunity now to expand their expertise and grow as professionals as we conduct this knowledge transfer.
“We have actually received interest from several cruise lines about providing homeport services in Nassau and Antigua recently. Being able to offer this benefit to them will bring an extensive boost to the profiles of each of these countries as major tourism players, which has always been one of our overarching goals as a partner and supporter of their local tourism industries. As our discussions with the cruise lines advance, we continue to pursue opportunities to expand our reach in the Americas to bring more business and opportunities to other communities in the region.”