A major cruise line reportedly has provided the Cayman Islands government with a proposal to develop cruise berthing facilities in the capital city of George Town, according to Cline Glidden, minister of tourism and development. Long one of the Caribbean’s most popular cruise ship ports, the Cayman Islands nevertheless lacks a cruise terminal capable of accommodating large ships and ferries the majority of its cruise guests to shore via tender services.
Speaking at a recent briefing with Cayman Islands media, Glidden said the government has a “preliminary proposal from one of the lines” following his recent meetings with cruise company officials in Florida. He did not name the cruise line, but added that “other cruise lines” have also expressed interest in developing cruise piers in Grand Cayman.
Last year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, which oversees the Cayman Islands as a British Overseas Territory, ordered then-premier McKeeva Bush to halt a deal with China Harbour Engineering Company to build a cruise facility in Grand Cayman because the agreement had not undergone required procurement processes. Bush was removed from office earlier this year following his arrest on theft charges unrelated to the cruise port agreement.
In fact, Glidden called the potential cruise-line project “a challenge to government” because its structure would not follow “the traditional procurement process of a competitive tender” and represent a “whole different scenario more akin to a licensing process.” He said the United Kingdom government supports plans to a cruise ship facility “as long as it follows best practice procurement process.” The Cayman Islands is consulting with a U.K. financial consultant to determine if the proposed cruise line offer would be acceptable to the British government.
The Cayman Islands has long sought to establish a modern cruise ship facility. In recent years the largest cruise lines have been very active in developing global cruise ports in partnership with destination governments. Glidden himself pointed out that cruise lines that develop ports typically guarantee a certain number of visitors to the destination for an agreed-on number of years, something other developers could not guarantee. “No one else can guarantee what the line can guarantee,” he said.
By Brian Major, Travel Pulse
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more