Official: Belize Cruise Port Behind Schedule
Photo: Norwegian’s Harvest Caye vacationers are also expected to visit nearby Placencia. (Photo by Brian Major).
Norwegian Cruise Line’s $100 million Harvest Caye cruise port off Belize’s southern coast is behind schedule and may not meet a planned Feb. 16 opening, a local tourism official said recently.
Harvest Caye’s opening “will be delayed,” said Valdemar Andrade, director, destination planning and cruise at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in a December interview on the 7NewsBelize.com website.
Andrade said Norwegian officials “have informed me that they will have a press release soon to know the exact timing of what that will be. It was scheduled to officially be opened in February 2016. But it will be delayed.” Norwegian officials did not provide a reason for the delay, he said.
Norwegian officials have not issued a statement on Harvest Caye since Andrade’s December interview. A Norwegian spokeswoman did not provide an opening date for the development but said Tuesday that he company is communicating with its customers and travel partners and details will be released soon. A local media report describes the project as “shrouded in mystery.”
Norwegian officials have described the project as located on two adjoining islands, with docking and tendering facilities and a connection to the mainland for regional tours. The 75-acre development was also slated to feature a floating pier, an island village with open-air structures, a marina, a lagoon for water sports and a beach area.
Norwegian’s website lists Harvest Caye as a port of call on seven-night cruises from Tampa beginning in February aboard the 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star. The site also features Harvest Caye excursions including visits to one of Belize’s many Mayan archaeological sites, plus adventure-themed activities including rainforest river tubing, snorkeling and zip-lining.
Andrade said of Harvest Caye, “From our perspective it is coming along well and we are now expecting what date the southern cruise port will be open.”
He added, “We are expecting that there will be some activities on Harvest Caye itself.” BTB officials also expect guests to venture into the small, adjacent town of Placencia, a small resort town that local residents and tourism officials alike have said will experience significant impact from the new cruise port.
Andrade said BTB is working with Placencia tour operators and the Placencia Village Council “to look at how we can ensure safety and security.”
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