New cruise terminal put to test

The completed finger pier of the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal in George Town was put to the test on Thursday when passengers from three cruise ships disembarked at the new facility.

A total of eight cruise ships entered George Town on Thursday 24 March and passengers from three Royal Caribbean cruise ships in port were carried on cruise tenders from their ships into the new dock area.

‘We had quite a few ships in on Thursday, three of them being Royal Caribbean ships,’ explained Port Authority Director Paul Hurlston.

‘We thought this would be a good opportunity to test the new pier and see how traffic flowed between it and the existing North and South Terminals.’

He said that use of the new facility worked really well for the flow of passengers within George Town.

‘They disembarked there and took tour buses from within the port area,’ he said.

Mr. Hurlston said that as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is one of the cruise lines funding building of the new facility, it was more than eager to see how the support cruise facility would work in the test.

A press release from the Cayman Islands Port Authority reads that because of the influx of cruise ships on Thursday, the Government and the Port Authority decided that it was an opportune time to test the benefits of a ‘shared passenger flow’ between the existing cruise facilities and the new cruise facilities.

‘Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was asked to participate in the exercise as three of the seven large ships in port are RCCL ships – and it was agreed that it would be easier to gain administrative support for the exercise if only one line was involved.’

‘The Government, the Port and the cruise lines remain equally committed to improving the visitor experience for our cruise guests, particularly upon arrival and during this time of construction,’ commented Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush.

‘RCCL’s co-operation, and its agreement to be a part of this test is most encouraging and we look forward to discussing the results of this exercise with them after the fact.’

The 2.2-acre site with a new finger pier for cruise tenders, will also include cruise passenger offices for Customs, Immigration, the Port and the Department of Tourism, as well as premises for commercial stores.

Coming on stream within the coming months, the new site will facilitate up to eight cruise ships in George Town (to include continued use of the existing north and south terminals).