Port CEO on home porting: We will enjoy this for as long as it lasts

Maura: Most cruise ship infrastructure for home porting already built into US ports

Nassau Cruise Port Limited’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Maura said yesterday that while The Bahamas’ stab at home porting in 2021 could spur an industry for the next few years, the relationship will not last as long with the ships that will begin home porting this month and next month. 

Maura, who made the remarks during an appearance on Guardian Radio talk show “Morning Blend Business”, said major cruise lines have most of their infrastructure for home porting already built into US ports and therefore are likely to return their ships to those home ports as they begin to open back up.

Several US ports are expected to reopen next month.

However, Maura contended that The Bahamas has an opportunity now to impress upon cruise lines and cruise line guests that Nassau is a viable and desirable home port.

“We’ve been given this opportunity to kick off the return of the cruise industry, to allow ships to home port here in Nassau and we are going to enjoy this for as long as it lasts,” Maura said.

“I think we have a chance of seeing home porting continue for a number of years. Do I think that all of the home port ships that we will be working with over the next couple of months will continue for several years? No I don’t.

“All of the infrastructure is in the Florida home ports… but I would say, what I think the industry has learned is having all of its eggs in a single basket in the US, there is a cost to that.”

Maura said Nassau Cruise Port is excited about the return of cruise tourism and has been carrying out dry runs at the port in preparation for the first embarkation of passengers on Saturday, aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of The Seas.

He said the port has completed its temporary arrivals terminal and erected numerous signs and sanitizing stations explaining the port’s health and safety protocols. He added that Royal Caribbean has been working with the Nassau Cruise Port to ensure everything works smoothly this weekend.

“In the case of Royal Caribbean, they have been absolute partners in terms of working with us, coming into town, hammering out the protocols, making sure everything works for the benefit of their company, our company, the Bahamian people and the experience of our guests,” said Maura.

“They brought their scanners from South Florida, we put them in place and went through the training and everything.

“They stepped up and selected The Bahamas as a home port start, which is a big deal for us and our Nassau cruise port is the single largest tourism gateway in the country, so it’s a big deal to get this thing started back up.”

The newly developed Nassau cruise port is expected to be fully opened in summer 2022.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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