Royal Watler opening soon

The official opening of the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal is Friday 22 September at 4pm.

This was confirmed by Minster of Tourism Charles Clifford, who will be speaking at the event.

Also speaking will be Chairman of the Port Authority Wayne Panton and a representative from the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, although the latter has not yet been fully confirmed.

The official opening will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, celebration with food and drinks and a tour of the facility.

‘There are not cruise ships in on that Friday, so it should make for an easy opening on that day,’ Mr. Clifford told a recent media briefing.

None of the retail units at the new terminal will be operational for the grand opening, the Minister also confirmed.

The Port Authority is still in the final stages of negotiating with potential tenants.

It could be several weeks or some months yet before the retail units are occupied because each tenant will need to outfit their properties following the lease signing. The retail units are to comprise a good mix of cruise related shops, such as duty free stores and some local craft shops.

Mr. Clifford said it is important to officially open the cruise terminal and he stated that the retail units doe not need to be operational for the opening.

The new cruise terminal is to ultimately be a pedestrian haven of stores, live music, refreshments, shade, restrooms and open space.

The tender pier at the new cruise terminal was officially opened back in May 2005 under the previous government.

On busy cruise days the pier has helped relieve congestion in spreading numbers of passengers out through the three cruise terminals.

The Port Authority has drawn down US$18 million of a US$27 million bank loan to build the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal. The agreement with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association is that the cruise association will give a dollar per passenger that comes here to pay back the loan over 15 years. Two million passengers per year are needed for the repayment.

The Port Authority will also get income from the tenants that occupy the retail outlets and from the renting of the area for outdoor evening events.

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