Friday, August 16, 2013

Norwegian Buys 75 Acres in Belize for $50 Million Cruise Destination

Norwegian Cruise Line is planning to build a $50 million cruise destination on two adjoining islands in southern Belize. The master plan is still under development, but the company said the project will likely include a floating pier, an island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, a marina, a transportation hub for tours, a lagoon for water sports and a beach area. The development will be designed to be environmentally friendly and promote the nature, art, adventure and music of Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna history and culture, the company said. The 75-acre parcel, called Harvest Caye, was previously was earmarked for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian first considered building on Crawl Caye, a small island also near Belizes Placencia peninsula, but that plan was rejected by the government, which then worked with the cruise line to find the new location. Norwegian confirmed the Harvest Caye land purchase and plans on Aug. 14. As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today, said Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan. Norwegian retained IDEA Inc. of Orlando to design the destination and oversee the project. IDEA is a designer of branded ports of call and destinations and has worked with private developers, government ministries, and independent agencies to create branded destinations in Alaska, Florida, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Mexico, St. Kitts, Honduras, Bahamas and Jamaica. Norwegian has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Belize that calls for adherence to environmental standards and job creation for Belizeans. The new destination is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that Belize needs to decentralize cruise tourism in an effort to reduce overcrowding, so the new destination will help relieve tourism pressures in Belize City. However, the project is facing some local opposition. The Belize Tourism Industry Association is against establishing a major cruise port in southern Belize because it could damage the environment in an area that should remain an eco-friendly low-impact destination, For additional information and to make a reservation for any Norwegian Cruise, contact for exclusive rates and offers. Call 203-288-1884 or email at




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