Global Ports Holding to Transform Nassau Cruise Port

Credit: GPH
Credit: GPH

Published Sep 5, 2019 5:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

Nassau Cruise Port Ltd (NCP) has signed a 25-year port operation and lease agreement with the Government of the Bahamas for the Prince George Wharf and related areas at Nassau cruise port. 

NCP is a consortium comprising Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH), the world's largest independent cruise port operator, the Bahamas Investment Fund and the Yes Foundation.

Nassau is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, attracting 3.7 million passengers a year with its unique combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is in close proximity to the U.S., with the largest cruise port in the world, Miami, within easy cruising distance.

Under the terms of the agreement, GPH will use its global expertise and operating model to manage Nassau Cruise Port. In addition, NCP will invest up to $250 million in expanding the capacity of the port as well as taking a number of innovative steps to transform the cruise port experience for both the passengers and the local population.

The Nassau Cruise Port project involves the regeneration of the port and local town of Nassau. Through a majority Bahamian-owned public-private partnership (PPP), GPH will work to enhance the cruise passenger experience and provide additional business opportunities for the local population. The project will also see the building of a new terminal building, the creation of an event and entertainment area, investment in improving the current retail facilities and the design and construction of new food and beverage facilities. It will integrate the port into Bay Street and downtown Nassau, with the expectation that it will act as a catalyst for the wider development of the downtown area. 

NCP is expected to complete the construction in 24 months.

Following the transformation of Nassau Cruise Port, the new waterfront is envisioned to be an attraction in its own right. The port will become a modern, world-class destination with large open spaces, as well as sufficient shaded areas to enable visitor comfort while being attentive to special needs, elderly passengers and children. 

The project will feature improved transportation connections, traffic flow and signage and will include an intermodal area for bus stops, taxis and parking. The new terminal will also include electric trams to transport passengers from ships to the terminal. The new retail area will offer a great shopping experience to cruise passengers with the ability to experience Bahamian culture by providing retail space for local artisans and farmers. Underpinning the whole development will be key environmental stewardship considerations.

Global Ports Holding, Chairman and Co-Founder Mehmet Kutman said: “I am delighted that Nassau Cruise Port Ltd has signed a port operation and lease agreement for Prince George Wharf at Nassau Cruise Port. This is a truly historic moment for Global Ports Holding, building on our track record of investment in the Caribbean region.”

Global Ports Holding CEO, Emre Sayin, said: “We are excited to apply our best practice model to develop the cruise offer in Nassau. Nassau will now become the biggest cruise port in our portfolio, increasing our passenger volumes by 50 percent. The GPH team very much looks forward to working with our partners, the cruise lines and the people of the Bahamas to reinvigorate the iconic cruise port and to make Nassau a great experience.”