A Caribbean Cruise Port With Adventure Travelers In Mind

The people that steer cruise ships to Caribbean cruise ports have been looking for new places to send ships for quite some time. Formerly satisfied with the standard fare of Western, Eastern or Southern Caribbean itineraries, cruise travelers are tired of the same old thing and want something different. Cruise lines are delivering, not by just sailing to new, exotic destinations but by building their own.

Banana Coast
is the newest western Caribbean cruise port destination at Trujillo, Honduras. One of the first to call, luxury line Silversea with 296-passenger Silver Cloud, scheduled to make its first visit in December 2014.

“We are pleased to have a high-end brand like Silversea Cruises be the first to commit to call at Banana Coast,” said Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development, one of the companies involved with developing the port, in a Travel Pulse report. “It’s a testament to how we have carefully created a destination that is culturally and historically appealing to the most sophisticated travelers.”

When the project is complete, the Banana Coast cruise destination will have a 50,000-square-foot shopping facility and transportation hub, and be far more than other cruise line made islands. Boasting “something for everyone,” it looks like this one really will be via its “Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea” theme.
“We have met with several other cruise lines and have hosted site inspections by cruise line executives,” said Greve. “We expect that several lines soon will commit to adding Banana Coast to their itineraries.”

Ten acres of beachfront land is just the start for the Banana Coast. Enabling travelers to experience the pristine area from air, land and sea, “shore excursions” are more than a ride around the island in a tour bus.

A VIP airplane trip to Mayan ruins, snorkeling, kayaking, ATV rides, a culinary tasting tour and more will be available to adventure travelers. Waterfalls, rivers, streams, mountains, a tropical rainforest, a nature reserve, coral reefs and crystal clear waters should make this destination one to visit.

This one just might have it all.

Oh, and there is some fair surfing there too, as we see in this video:

[Photo Credit – Flickr user Josiah Townsend]

New Jamaica port open for business

It’s been a long time in the works, plagued by construction delays and setbacks, but the new cruise port in Falmouth Jamaica is finally open for business.

To celebrate the much-anticipated event, area schools were closed, local dignitaries and cruise line executives were on hand, Reggae star Shaggy performed and a marching band ended the day giving cruise passengers a royal send-off. The star of the show though was Royal Caribbean’s giant new ship, Oasis of the Seas, making its first call at the new port.

“I was here for the inaugural cruise ship visit by Voyager of the Seas one month ago and (Jamaicans) were amazed at the size of Voyager” said cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron CEO of CruiseGuy.com adding “but they were blown away by the larger size and unique design of Oasis of the Seas.”

On hand too was Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding noting “Today is truly a remarkable day, the realization of a dream.” reports Seatrade Insider.

The new $180 million Falmouth port project is a joint effort between the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean International that is already making an impact on tourism, providing local jobs and much-needed tourist spending to the island.

The two-berth Historic Falmouth Cruise Port development sits about half-way between existing ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay and hopes to bring cruise ship passenger numbers back up to over 1 million after dropping to 910,000 last year.

Photo courtesy Seatrade Insider

$ billion cruise port “not ready” for ships on the way

Royal Caribbean’s new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica looks “more like a bomb went off on the site than a high-class tourist trap” says the Jamaica Observer today after a recent site visit.

That’s bad news for cruise passengers set to start visiting the new port January 7Th off Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas.

“The port facilities, especially the shops, are not ready. I would say the earliest they would be ready is about mid-March, and fully operational around late April, and the terminal building, a hundred per cent open at the end of June (2011),” said Jes Olsen, project director for the Dutch construction firm in charge of building the pier.

That’s about a year behind the originally projected opening date. Still, Royal Caribbean will send the first ship, Navigator of the Seas, to the port January 7Th. The Falmouth project was built to accommodate giant Oasis and Allure of the Seas beginning May 2010. Those ships won’t call in Falmouth until March.

“It is a very huge project. It’s a ‘design/build’ project, where the developer has certain things in mind and he can change his mind along the way. Also the unknown factors, we had a lot of coral to move which delayed the start-up of the project. We moved about 140,000 live corals.” adds Olsen.

With nothing to do at the port itself, the guests who disembark will have little choice for activities off the ship other than ship-sponsored shore excursions. Plans for setting up a temporary craft market on the site have yet to materialize.

Jamaica Observer photo