Norwegian Cruise Line announced today at Cruise Shipping Miami that it will make major enhancements to its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, located 120 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale in the Berry Island chain of the Bahamas.  The 250-acre island will undergo a two-phase renovation, totaling in excess of $20 million, spanning 22 months and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

“We have one of the best private islands, particularly for swimming and snorkeling. With these improvements, we can provide an even more enjoyable island experience for the more than 9,000 guests who visit Great Stirrup Cay weekly during the height of the season,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.  “Highlights of the enhancements include an expanded beach front, exciting island excursions, additional dining facilities, private beachside cabanas and a new kid’s area.”

The first phase of improvements to Great Stirrup Cay is already underway. This includes the excavation and formation of a new entrance channel for tenders, marina basin and arrival area with welcome pavilion that will be the site for new tender landings and docks.  Once this is complete, the island’s current beach front will be expanded significantly to accommodate more guests.

New infrastructure and landscaping to enhance the guest experience is planned in the second phase including new dining and 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.  Several new island activities and shore excursions will be added including wave runners, a floating Aqua Park with a variety of water toys, kayak tours through man-made rivers within the island, an eco-cruise, and a stingray encounter experience.  These are in addition to the existing snorkeling; floats; inflatable hippo slide; and parasailing that are currently offered.

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 or to book a cruise, call 866-234-7350, click www.ncl.com or phone a travel professional.