Royal Caribbean chief Michael Bayley has insisted the cruise line will not tender its Oasis class mega ships.
Speaking at a public meeting in Red Bay, Tuesday, Bayley said the larger ships, which carry more than 6,000 passengers, would not stop in Cayman unless a port is built.
“Today the largest ships can’t go to Grand Cayman,” he said.
“It is simply not possible to manage the number of tourists on the large ships.”
He said the tendering model was inefficient and old-fashioned and was uncomfortable for guests, particularly older people and children.
Drawing comparisons with the airport, he said it was similar to parking up a Boeing 737 on the landing strip and using busses to ferry passengers to the airport.
He said Cayman’s tender operators do a “remarkable job” but suggested the model was “not optimal”.
Responding to a member of the public during a question and answer session, Bayley suggested there would still be some tendering at the new port. He added that there would be other opportunities for the business and its staff associated with the new pier and the anticipated bump in tourism arrivals.
“We would work with the tender company to have a soft landing to make sure the jobs with that company were, as best as possible, protected,” he added.
The owners of the tender company have indicated it would not be viable to keep the business running if a pier is built.