Carnival Corporation and PLC President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald confirmed in the company’s sustainability report for fiscal year 2019 that the proposed port development for Grand Bahama and developments for Half Moon Cay will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donald did not say how long the delay might be. Both Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar and Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said Carnival has not informed them how long of a delay the projects could face.
Carnival stated in the sustainability report: “Under the agreement, we will develop a new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama and construct a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line’s award-winning Half Moon Cay. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the first quarter of 2020 and the pandemic’s impact on our industry, the permitting and startup of construction for both projects are expected to be delayed.”
Thompson told Guardian Business yesterday that the company continues to work with the Ministry of the Environment and Housing on permitting for the projects.
“All I know is they are continuing to work with the Ministry of Environment to progress their permitting progress. We haven’t talked about any delay times,” he said.
Carnival signed the heads of agreement for the Grand Bahama port in September last year and had hoped to begin the project by mid-2020.
COVID-19 has hit the cruise industry especially hard, with both Carnival and Royal Caribbean International burning through hundreds of millions of dollars per month since March when their ships last held guests.
Royal Caribbean is also slated to continue its project on Grand Bahama, though that company has not yet offered any retooled timelines of its own.
Cruise lines hope to begin sailing again by November.