Photo L to R: Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH; Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize; Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize

Harvest Caye, the new destination built by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in Southern Belize, has welcomed its first guests.

It is the only port in Belize with a cruise ship pier, according to Norwegian.

"Located just one mile offshore, Harvest Caye offers Caribbean travelers an authentic Belizean experience that highlights the country’s beauty and nature, along with resort-style amenities including a sprawling pool and private luxury beach villas; a variety of eco-activities and interactive wildlife programs; and an exhilarating cross-island zip line. With its close proximity to the mainland, Harvest Caye also offers guests easy access to a wide variety of adventure excursions," said a statement from Norwegian.

“Harvest Caye is truly the ultimate Belizean experience and we are delighted to welcome our first guests today,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We have worked closely with the government of Belize to ensure that that this spectacular destination was authentic for our guests, provided economic opportunities for the local community and preserved and protected Belize’s incredible natural beauty. We’re overjoyed with the results of this four year development project, and we look forward to seeing Harvest Caye and Southern Belize grow as we delight the many guests that will call on the destination.”

Guests onboard Norwegian Dawn, sailing from New Orleans, today were the very first to experience all that Harvest Caye has to offer.

Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH led a ribbon cutting ceremony and official grand opening, where he was joined by the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize, Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize, and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

“Today is the product of the government’s continued pledge to entrench tourism as a top national priority and to promote tourism as a main engine for overall economic growth of the country. This investment alone is projected to generate 500 direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs by the year 2020,” said Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize. “We have embarked on an unprecedented and incomparable journey. The growth in cruise tourism over the past 20 years proves that Belize is a destination of choice for those seeking adventure, a host of natural wonders, and most importantly friendly and hospitable people. Today, we say to cruise guests, “Welcome to Southern Belize.’”