New multi-million cruise terminal will proceed as planned - Belize Ports says
(Friday 05 September 2003 11:09:08 am)
Belize Ports Limited and the Miami-based Carnival Corporation Tlc have reached an agreement for the development of a new cruise terminal facility in an area of Belize City near the Belize City Port Terminal.
Under the agreement Carnival corporation has committed to regular ship calls at the new facility for a 25-year period.
The project, expected to cost $100 million, will consist of a pier able to accommodate two cruise ships and an adjacent welcome centre.
The project also calls for channel improvements as well as a transportation hub with capacity to handle hundreds of buses and taxis.
Belize Ports Limited is a Belizean company managing the Ports of Belize City and the Port of Big Creek under the supervision of Luke Espat.
Carnival Corporation PLC, the largest cruise vacation group , is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Princes Cruises, Holland American Line, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Winstar and Seabourn Cruises among others, operating 70 cruise ships in Europe and the Caribbean.
Direct revenue to the local economy over the 25 year life-span of the agreement is estimated at more than two billion dollars, according to Espat, who also said that Carnival Corporation is the first of a number of strategic investors identified by Belize Ports Limited to participate in the long-term development of the port.
Funding for the project will be be provided from a mix of equity and debt investment from the project partners.
Meanwhile, news about the fate of the Tourism Village, which is the only hub today for arriving cruise ships visitors is still not clear.
It has been confirmed that the present owners, Michael Feinstein and his wife, want to sell, and that there are two competing buyers - the Belize Cruise-ship Industry Association and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
Reports that the Feinsteins have decided to sell to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line could not be confirmed.