Bahamas Moves to Transform Nassau Cruise Port

Nassau Cruise Port

The Bahamas saw a big bump in cruise arrivals in 2019 and is expanding its diverse product even more. The islands already have one of the world's most recognized cruise products, with  ports in Nassau and Freeport and various out islands.

In August, the Bahamas government signed an agreement with the Nassau Cruise Port consortium (spearheaded by Global Ports Holding) for a 25-year port operation and lease agreement of the Prince George Wharf and related areas at Nassau cruise port. The agreement includes a $250 million expansion of port capacity, as well as several steps meant to transform the cruise port experience for passengers and Nassau residents.

The two-year project aims to revitalize the waterfront for businesses and tourist. It includes building a new cruise terminal, creating an event and entertainment area, improving current retail facilities, and designing and constructing new food and beverage facilities in the area. The aim is to integrate the port into Bay Street and downtown Nassau, with the expectation that it will act as a catalyst for the wider development of the downtown area. The project is currently underway and is expected to be completed by 2022.

Bahamian officials are reticent on long-term leases for entire islands, but the cays have become a major selling point for mass-market cruise lines.

The islands reported 5.78 million cruise passengers arrive in 2019, a towering increase over 3,922,770 cruise passengers in 2018. Overall in 2019, the islands reported a record-breaking 7.2 million tourist arrivals.

Continued training of tour operators through the archipelago remains a priority while the government mulls policies to create a more attractive product.

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