It will be several months before the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal is fully open for business.
The cruise pier and washrooms are in use and have proved their worth in busy George Town.
However, the retail units that will make the cruise terminal truly come alive with atmosphere, are not operational yet, although construction has been completed.
Back in January it was estimated by the Port Authority that the entire terminal could be operational in five months’ time (June). However, now it appears that it could be up to another three months before the entire operation is open, according to Port Authority Director Paul Hurlston.
‘There are certain items that need to be put in place for the fire inspection to be completed,’ he said.
Mr. Hurlston said this inspection should be completed shortly.
The Port Authority has identified the majority of people to rent the units and the process of signing leases for these retail outlets should be in motion soon.
Following the various lease signings, there will be a period of outfitting each particular booth or space by the lessees for their own retail purposes. This could take a couple of months at least, Mr. Hurlston said.
However, as soon as each retail unit is completed, it will open, so that more and more of the terminal will be open in phases.
There are 12 retail units in the retail building and seven separate kiosks.
The tender pier of the Royal Watler terminal, which officially opened in May 2005, is proving its worth as it allows the spreading of ships’ passengers through the three separate cruise terminals.
‘It is generally being appreciated by all,’ said Mr. Hurlston.
‘Generally there are shorter lines to and from the tenders,’ he said.
The new terminal can accommodate up to four ships at any time, depending on the size and capacity of each, he said.
When asked if another grand opening will take place, Mr. Hurlston said there probably will be one, once everything is fully open.