By Aaron Humes: At an event abroad, representatives of Belize’s tourism industry and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) jointly announced plans for the first call to Harvest Caye off Placencia.
Beginning on November 15, 2016, the cruise port at the caye will receive 4 calls per week.
President and Chief Operating Officer for NCL, Mr. Andy Stuart, stated, quote, “Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways. There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven acre beach and watersports, to interactive wildlife programs. Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors.” End quote.
Meanwhile, Senior Vice President of Destination and Port Operations, Mr. Colin Murphy, commented on the topic of employment for Belizeans. He said, quote, “It’s very important to the government and very important to us that we create as many jobs as possible. We’ve used up to 200 Belizeans on a regular basis during construction. Once in operation, with people employed directly by us and by the concessions, we’re going employee around four to five hundred people, which is huge for this area, then there is a big multiplier down the line.” End quote.
Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr, and the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, were present for the announcement The Minister’s address reiterated the Government’s support for the project. He explained, quote, “We are looking forward to partnering with them. Artisans, tour guides, and all tourism related jobs will increase in numbers and there will also be an increase in livelihood. We will do whatever it takes to ensure the project will become the pride of the south and the pride of NCL.”
Harvest Caye is expected to be a one-stop fun shop with a seven-acre beach and villas, a 15 thousand square foot pool with swim-up bar, lounge tables and bar stools, 15 canopy pool cabanas; 130 foot tall Flight house as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, and stunning views of the verdant hills of the mainland.
Guests will also be able to enjoy water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing as well as go onshore for tours. The caye will feature numerous dining and bar options, as well as a shopping village. To further conservation efforts, 10,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island to increase the number of natural habitats for birds, young fish and other marine species.
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