The Disney Cruise Line will be one of a few companies to help finance a new cruise berthing facility and cargo dock in the Cayman Islands capital, George Town.

What’s happening:

  • The good folks at the Disney Cruise Line Blog first reported on this story, bringing it to our attention.
  • According to a report in the Cayman Compass, the Disney Cruise Line has been announced as one of the financiers for a new pier project.
  • Disney along with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corporation will fund the project which includes:
    • Planned cruise berthing facilities
    • Cargo dock
  • The project will be constructed in the Cayman Islands capital of George Town.
  • Cayman Islands Premier, Alden McLaughlin announced the news yesterday at their Chamber of Commerce legislative luncheon.
  • Disney is the most recent addition to the project with the other two companies being announced in December 2018.  
  • During the luncheon, Mr. McLaughlin told attendees that thanks to the financial commitments from Disney and the others, no public money will be used to build the facilities.

  • Details regarding the financial contributions were not shared, however according to Cayman Compass, the “government intends to undertake the cruise pier development as a public-private partnership.”
  • This means that selected bidders and cruise lines financiers will provide the funds to build the berthing facility and cargo dock, then collect passenger fees over the next 20 years.
  • Back in December when Royal Caribbean and Carnival were announced as contributors, the Government noted that  the cruise lines’ financial commitments would be included in invitations to the project’s final three bidders.
  • The Government also expect that bids will be made by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
  • At Thursday’s luncheon, Mr. McLaughlin said they should have the selected bidder chosen by summer and will then reveal details to the public about the design and costs.
  • With Cayman boast record tourists numbers, some people are critical of the project and wondering why it’s necessary.
  • Mr. McLaughling stated that berthing facilities are required on the island due to cruise lines building larger ships.

  • Mr. McLaughlin also compared the situation to Kodak, pointing out how they failed to adapt to the changes in digital photography and that it ultimately caused the company to become just a fraction of what it once was.
  • As for concerns about environmental damage, McLaughlin said project developers will strive to keep the impact on the environmental as low as possible.
  • Although, he also noted that a “responsible government” would need to weigh the benefits of economic gains a project like this could bring.
  • The project is estimated to bring in 500 construction jobs immediately as well as decades of employment and nearly $245 million in economic benefits.

What they’re saying:

  • Premier Alden McLaughlin: “I fear that will be the outcome for our cruise industry if we fail to react to where the cruise market is developing. This government will not allow that to happen.”
  • On economic benefits: “This comes down to question of judgment. Do the benefits outweigh the costs? In my view, yes.”