Carnival Corp., parent of Carnival, Holland America, Cunard and a number of other cruise lines has big plans in the Bahamas, including a new terminal on Grand Bahama to handle its newest, largest ships and a big expansion at its private island, Half Moon Cay.
Carnival's investment plans total about $180 million, good news for the Bahamas after hurricane devastation in part of the island chain last month.
On Grand Bahama, Carnival has signed a deal to build a terminal on the south side of the island, capable of withstanding a Category 5 hurricane and able to handle superjumbo cruisers, like Carnival's Mardi Gras, which will enter service next year.
At Half Moon Cay where Carnival has built a beach-and-fun site that sees port calls by many of its ships, the company will build a second site on another part of the island to increase the number of ships that can call. Half Moon Cay is used by both Carnival and Holland America.
The existing development requires passengers to be brought ashore by ships' tenders; the new site will have a long pier that will allow ships to anchor and discharge passengers directly on shore. The two sites will together cover about 10% of the island; the original deal between Carnival and the Bahamas government sets the rest aside as a wildlife and bird sanctuary.