Published on : Thursday, November 28, 2019
Michael Maura, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd’s chief executive, told that “millions of dollars” have already been invested in the design, engineering and environmental studies that will lay the foundation for Prince George Wharf’s overhaul over a 24-month period.
Detailing a series of construction milestones that are critical to revitalising the main gateway to The Bahamas for some 3.5m cruise passengers annually, Mr Maura predicted that the project would be a “game changer” for the wider Bay Street and downtown Nassau area.
He said the waterfront’s revival would deliver a sufficiently strong product to entice Atlantis and Baha Mar guests, as well as Bahamians and residents, back to the downtown area to enjoy live entertainment, an interactive Junkanoo experience, and improved retail and food and beverage offerings centred on “authentically” local products.
Emphasising that the cruise port’s retail offering will seek to complement, rather than compete with, Bay Street merchants, Mr Maura said Nassau Cruise Port and its 49 percent owner, Global Ports Holding, were also working closely with stakeholders such as the taxi drivers to bring order and discipline to call-up systems so that all gained a fair share of the tourist trade.
Confirming that the 2022 first quarter is “the target” for construction completion, Mr Maura said Nassau was on the “front line” of the global cruise industry’s rapid expansion and needed to improve its product to attract higher-spending passengers for the benefit of Bahamian-owned merchants and their employees.
Still, Anthony Ferguson, principal of CFAL, the financial advisers to Nassau Cruise Port, yesterday said the number of passengers passing through Nassau’s cruise port was forecast to surge to more than 4m in 2023 – the first full year after the redevelopment is completed.