Norwegian Adds Stingray Encounter, Snorkel Trail at Private Island
By Theresa Norton Masek
August 15, 2012 9:58 PM
Norwegian Cruise Line has opened a new stingray encounter and a snorkel trail as part of its $30 million enhancement project on its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas. In addition, a new theme bar sponsored by Patrón Spirits is expected to open in September.
Located inside Bertram’s Cove, on the right hand side of the main beach, the Stingray Encounter lets guests interact with 18 specially trained stingrays in an enclosed area. Each stingray has a name and its own personality, and guests can feed, watch and hold them, and even take photos. Use of a mask, snorkel and snorkel vest is included so guests can peer at the rays below the water’s surface. The hour-long excursion includes 45 minutes of interaction with the rays and costs $29 per adult and $19 per child.
The new snorkel trail, located near the Stingray Encounter in Bertram’s Cove, portrays the tale of a shipwreck. As the legend goes, “The Fancy,” sailing from Nassau, Bahamas, in 1696, encountered a mythical creature named Lusca that was half-shark, half-octopus. It is believed that Lusca was responsible for the ship disappearing near the Berry Islands, the location of Great Stirrup Cay. Guests can look for clues underwater that lead to the treasure that the Fancy was carrying, highlighted by 17 underwater scenes that depict the shipwreck and Lusca’s legend, including cannons, a sunken piano, treasure chests, swords and more.
Developed in conjunction with IDEA Inc., an Orlando-based company that develops theme park experiences, the “Fate of the Fancy Snorkel Adventure” features some authentic artifacts that are more than 300 years old. In addition, the artifacts are eco-friendly and are expected to stimulate additional marine life.
Guests can explore the snorkel trail by renting snorkel equipment for $29 per adult or $15 per child for the day. Or, they can purchase both the “Fate of the Fancy Snorkel Adventure” and the stingray encounter at a discounted price of $49 per adult, a $9 savings, and $29 per child, a $5 savings.
Norwegian has also partnered with the spirits brand, Patrón, on a new bar called Lighthouse Beach Bar presented by Patrón. It will feature Patrón products, including its popular tequila, along with a full range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The bar will be outfitted with beach-inspired décor, including bar stools, umbrellas and menu boards, as well as two large flat-screen TVs that will show entertainment from music videos to sporting events. The new bar is set to open in September.
Earlier this year, Norwegian opened private cabanas on Great Stirrup Cay. Located to the west of the island’s main beach, the cabanas are available for $249 per day for up to six guests. Each cabana is furnished with lounge chairs, tables, a cooler, beach towels and a shower. Cabana rental also includes a $50 food and beverage credit, up to six all-day passes to the Hippo Waterslide and one large float to use. Guests who reserve one of the 10 cabanas will get priority tender service to the island and, upon arrival, will receive six complimentary bottles of water and a fruit basket. The cabanas are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be pre-booked as a shore excursion.
The 250-acre Great Stirrup Cay was the first private island operated by a cruise line. Additional activities on the island include a Waverunner tour, a large Hippo Waterslide, an eco-boat tour, kayaking, parasailing, shopping at the straw market and more.
Norwegian Sky makes year-round stops at Great Stirrup Cay on three- and four-day cruises from Miami. Norwegian Gem visits during seven-day “Bahamas & Florida” itinerary from New York. Beginning in October, Norwegian Jewel will also stop at Great Stirrup Cay on seven-day “Bahamas & Florida” cruises from New York. Norwegian Pearl will also visit the private island this winter on its seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary from Miami. Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian’s new ship launching next spring, will visit Great Stirrup Cay on seven-day cruises from New York to the Bahamas and Florida beginning in mid-October 2013.