Plan for second pier at Spotts floated

Cruise ship tourists leave Spotts Dock on a day when rough weather in George Town prevented their ships from mooring there. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The Port Authority is investigating options for a second pier to allow more cruise ships to use Grand Cayman’s back-up, bad-weather anchorage at Spotts.

The plan would be for a small pier, similar to the one that already exists at Spotts, to enable more ships to tender at that location.

Citing overcrowding and safety concerns, the Port Authority reduced the number of ships simultaneously allowed to tender at the Spotts terminal from three to two at the end of last year.

That decision meant more ships had to be turned away on days when bad weather made it unsafe to anchor in George Town.

Now the Ministry of Tourism has asked port bosses to look at building a second pier in Spotts, enabling four ships to tender.

Minutes from the port’s board meeting in January indicate, “With the introduction of the new policy of only allowing two, instead of three cruise ships at Spotts, for safety and other reasons, the Deputy Premier requested that the Port Authority look into the feasibility of adding a second pier to the Spotts facility, which would allow for four ships to call instead of two.”

January 2017 marked the first time the Spotts secondary terminal was pressed into action due to bad weather since early 2016. – Photo: Matt Lamers

Joey Woods, port director, told the Compass, the idea was being evaluated and his staff was in the preliminary stages of information gathering and obtaining cost estimates for the project.

He said it was unconnected to wider plans for a new berthing facility in George Town. He said Spotts could not be used most of the year because of prevailing weather conditions, and was only ever intended as a back-up anchorage. He said any redevelopment at the site would likely take years to complete.

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