Port Vote

Much of the debate around the cruise berthing facility has centered on the potential impact on the wrecks and reefs in the harbour.

Amid conflicting reports about the health of the marine life in the impacted area, we enlisted the help of underwater photographer Courtney Platt and produced an interactive graphic to demonstrate exactly what lies beneath the glassy surface.

Each of the flashing dots on the aerial image above, correlates to a specific dive site. Click on the dots to see images taken at those locations and a short description of the sites and what the available reports say about how they could be impacted.

Port Vote 2019

Breaking down the referendum judgment

The ongoing saga over government’s plan to build new cruise berthing facilities in George Town took another twist on Wednesday following a judgment from the Grand Court. Justice Tim Owen ruled that government must put in place a general framework law setting out a fair process for how people-initiated referendums are handled before it sets the date and question for the poll. Here we break down his judgment and the repercussions for the port project.

Port court ruling likely next week

Acting Justice Timothy Owen is set to deliver his decision Wednesday, 19 Feb., on the judicial review challenging government’s port project referendum.

Port referendum question ‘tweaked’

Government says it has "tweaked" the question it plans to use for the referendum on its proposed $200 million cruise berthing and cargo project.

Court shields CPR member from paying costs

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie grants Cruise Port Referendum Cayman member Shirley Roulstone a protective costs order. It shields her from paying government's legal costs should her action over the vote on the port project fail in the court.

Uncertainty clouds voter eligibility for upcoming port referendum

The number of registered voters continues its steady increase, but it remains unclear how many people will be eligible to vote in the port referendum that hinges on which electors roll will be used.

Calico’s owner: ‘We should have built piers years ago’

Handel Whittaker is one of the most recognisable faces on Seven Mile Beach. After nearly two decades as the proprietor of Calico Jack’s and...

Langevin: ‘Do we want quality or quantity?’

As the manager of the Cayman Islands’ most luxurious resort, Marc Langevin has a vested interest in the future of the island’s tourism product. Amid an ongoing debate about tourism growth, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is keen to see the island retain its reputation as a safe, high-quality destination.
Tourists on Seven Mile Beach

How much tourism is too much for a small island?

Cayman's tourism industry is thriving. But amid the debate over if and how to develop the island's port facilities, some are wondering, if the growth in visitors is sustainable and what the impact of rising visitation might mean for the island over the coming decades.

Cruise ports around the region

Across the Caribbean the cruise industry is driving infrastructure projects to accommodate larger ships. Cayman Compass reporter Kayla Young looked at some of the...

Cousteau clarifies Cayman port position

In the early stages of this process, I was asked to voice my environmental concerns on video regarding a proposed cruise and cargo port enhancement project in the Cayman Islands.

Verdant Isle responds to referendum delay

Verdant Isle Port Partners, the consortium selected as the preferred bidder on the $200 million cruise and cargo berthing project, released a brief statement Wednesday in response to a court decision to delay the referendum on the port vote.

Public reactions of holiday still on

With everything that’s at stake with the proposed cruise berthing and cargo port project - millions of dollars in public spending, the health of...

Updated: Court delays port vote

The referendum on the controversial cruise and cargo port development will be delayed at least until next year following a court order Tuesday. The decision...

Campaigners celebrate court decision

Campaigners were celebrating Tuesday following a court decision to delay the port referendum to allow a legal challenge to take place. Shirley Roulstone, a leading...

Elections Office pushes pause button on referendum preparations

The Elections Office has suspended its preparations for the 19 Dec. referendum following the court's decision to delay the vote on the government's cruise berthing and cargo project.

Government cancels public meetings amid referendum delay

Premier Alden McLaughlin said Tuesday that his concern that the referendum on the cruise and cargo project would be delayed had been realised. In a...
Nadia Hardie, executive director, National Trust

National Trust heads to court over cruise referendum

The National Trust will be in court Tuesday morning for the first phase of its legal challenge to the referendum on the port project, according to the organisation’s executive director, Nadia Hardie.

How a small campaign snowballed to force a referendum

The movement started in Katrina Jurn’s living room: six people gathered together after work because they didn’t like what they were hearing about a proposed cruise ship berth being built in George Town Harbour.

PR firm paid $70k for pro-port campaign

Public relations firm Kelly Holding won a $70,000 contract to support government’s marketing push in support of the cruise port development, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Law.

Tour encourages voters to judge harbour for themselves

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands embraced the ‘show, don’t tell’ philosophy on Sunday morning, taking dozens of guests out on the Nautilus submarine to witness sites in George Town Harbour that many have only read about.

Brackers following port debate from afar

Cayman Brac may be removed physically from the impact of the cruise berthing and cargo project but residents there are paying attention to developments with the facility.

Environmental activists take port message to waterfront

Protesters lined the George Town waterfront on Friday, as part of a growing environmental movement driven by student activists.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell makes his case for cruise piers

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has been one of the leading figures in the push for a cruise berthing facility in Grand Cayman. In a featured interview, we asked him to answer some of the key questions around the development and explain why he believes it is in the island’s best interest.

Student activists turn the lens on Cayman’s growing pains

A new campaign by the student group focusses on the issue of greed by highlighting sites such as the landfill, the cleared KAABOO festival grounds and other locations that demonstrate the strains of development in Grand Cayman.

Documents reveal 2012 mega-ship tender plan

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines were in advanced talks with the Port Authority in 2012 to tender an Oasis-class mega ship, according to documents seen by the Cayman Compass.

Port business case: Little certainty over economic impact

Over the last six years government has published a slew of reports analysing the potential pros and cons of a cruise berthing facility in George Town harbour. Cayman Compass business editor Michael Klein waded through the documents to provide a comprehensive analysis of the available data about the case for and against the piers.

‘We may never see a deal like this again’

As the owner of one of the companies which formed the consortium bidding to build a new cruise berthing facility in 2010, I feel there should be more public support for the current port project.

Financing model analysis: Who is paying for the cruise berthing facility?

A government video released earlier this year that promotes the planned cruise berthing facility offers a simple answer to the question of who would pay for the project: “It is the cruise passengers who will be paying ..."

The promise of repairing our reefs

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is responding to the letter sent to the Cayman Islands media on 22 Nov. by Polaris Applied Sciences, questioning the information in the presentation that was made by CCMI President Dr. Carrie Manfrino, at the Cayman Port Referendum launch on 21 Nov.

Polaris: ‘We expect strong survival of relocated corals’

As the marine biologist from Polaris Applied Sciences Inc who attached the corals at the Tatoosh anchor damage site in West Bay, Grand Cayman, and the container vessel Saga grounding at Eden Rock, Grand Cayman, I am responding to the statements made by Carrie Manfrino at the official launch of the Cruise Port Referendum campaign on Wednesday, 20 Nov. 2019.

Carnival CEO: ‘We’ll be very respectful’ of referendum decision

Carnival Corporation CEO and president Arnold Donald flew into Grand Cayman this month for a quick stopover. Before a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and government officials, Donald sat down with the Cayman Compass to answer some common questions about the cruise port.

‘Young people would vote no’

"Long after the ballots on the Port Referendum have been counted, we shall be the ones who will face the consequences," student group Protect our Future writes in a guest column for the Cayman Compass.

Interactive map: How the port will impact life in the harbour

Much of the debate around the cruise berthing facility has centered on the potential impact on the wrecks and reefs in the harbour. Amid conflicting reports about the health of the marine life in the impacted area, we enlisted the help of underwater photographer Courtney Platt and produced an interactive graphic to demonstrate exactly what lies beneath the glassy surface.

Port opponents kick off campaign with rally

A crowd of more than 200 people filled much of Celebration Park in downtown George Town Wednesday night as the Cayman Port Referendum group held its first rally in the runup to the 19 Dec. vote.

Life thrives beneath harbour

The 20-foot high wall of rock that faces the jagged remnants of the Balboa -- a ship that was damaged beyond repair in 1932’s major hurricane and was later broken up with explosives -- runs for a good 100 yards and is infused with brightly coloured orange and purple sponges, green and gold corals, moray eels, lobsters, crabs and a host of vibrant fish.

Researcher aims to regrow coral in Cayman

A scientist whose methods have been heralded as a potential game-changer in the emerging field of growing corals has been recruited as part of the mitigation plan for the cruise port.

This week