Late last week, the Tourism Minister of the Dominican Republic, Francisco Javier Garcia, announced the construction of a passenger cruise terminal and recreation facility in Maimon Bay, west of Puerto Plata.
Carnival Corp, along with their joint venture partner, the Rannik family of the Dominican Republic, signed an agreement to build the $65 million dollar complex which is financed by Carnival Corp.
Once complete, the project will include berths for two post-Panamax cruise ships, a retail section, dining and recreation complex and a section for taxis and shore excursion buses. The cruise terminal will be able to simultaneously accommodate the arrival of at least 4,000 passengers. Post-Panamax ships are those ships that are too large to meet the Panama Canal locks requirements.
Full steam ahead
Garcia said that because of the extent of Carnival’s involvement, it guarantees the project’s success, expeditious construction and a massive presence of cruise passengers. He goes on to say, “The speed of the work stems mostly because that investment doesn’t require any financing or Dominican Government facilities for the investors.”
Even with the projected cost of $65 million, the facility is expected to generate about $30 million in its first year. Construction is set to begin on October 1 with a targeted completion date of fall 2013. This new terminal will occupy 50,000 square meters and provide 800 jobs to the area.
The proximity to the resort city of Puerto Plata will enable cruise passengers to visit this beautiful area, enjoy the beaches and sample local food. Carnival has not stated which of their cruise lines will add Maimon Bay to their itineraries, most likely Carnival’s namesake ships will have berthing priority as they do in other Carnival Corp “manufactured” ports.
If you have ever been to Carnival’s port complex in Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos islands, you know what a great job Carnival did to revitalize an unnoticed piece of beachfront property and employ hundreds of Bahamians. This will be the third port recreation complex for the Carnival Corporation having added Grand Turk in 2006 and Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras in 2009 – complete with “Flying Chairs.”
Personally, I think it is a great move for Carnival to create yet another port structure. Aside from the fact that they are family fun friendly, it’s a win/win/win for everyone. From the Carnival Corp cruise lines that will add a new port, to new employment opportunities for the local residents and for passengers to experience a resort area that is mainly accessible only by airplane.
Though it’s not a beach for surfers (the protected bay has mostly flat surf) the quiet bay area has been popular with beachgoers for decades. As someone who doesn’t fly, I am looking forward to visiting this new recreation complex, kick back with a foo-foo drink and relax on the beach.
Headline photo credit: sacandomelas.com