Cruise News Grand Cayman Concept: Cable Cars to Replace Cruise Tenders

Grand Cayman Concept: Cable Cars to Replace Cruise Tenders

As locals in Grand Cayman debate over a cruise pier that will eliminate tendering, Cayman 27 is reporting about a cable car concept as a valid alternative to a new pier.

The cable car concept is called Cayman’s Sky Bridge, and is the idea of James Whittaker, CEO of GreenTech Group.  He said that his design can provide berthing facilities for up to four cruise ships at a time, preserving the coral reefs that are feared to likely be destroyed if a pier is built.  He said the system is a proved technology and gave the following statement to Cayman 27:

“You’re traversing people through the air from terminals that are out in the water, at depths that make sense in terms of not stirring up turbidity and not having silt issues, and not having to damage the reefs transporting them to the port, and doing so in quite a rapid manner.”

The cable car system would be able to transport up to 20,000 cruise passengers per hour on the four lines, making it a faster alternative to tendering.  The berthing would also be able to hold the largest cruise ships in the world, the Oasis class from Royal Caribbean.  The Oasis class ships have bypassed stopping at Grand Cayman due to their size and the number of passengers that would need tendering.

The plans also include an underwater viewing area where cruise passengers would be able to view the reefs and ocean life.

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This plan will appeal to those on Grand Cayman who are worried about the environmental damage that dredging a new cruise pier would have on the coral reefs. During inclement weather, the cable cars would be stowed away in the terminal building for their protection.

Will Cayman’s Sky Bridge be approved? Only time will tell on that, but Cruise Fever will have the latest when a decision is announced.

Photo Credit: Cayman 27

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Ben Souza
Ben, a world traveler who has visited 41 countries, currently takes between 8-10 cruises a year. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, Drudge Report, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected]
Cruise News Grand Cayman Concept: Cable Cars to Replace Cruise Tenders

11 COMMENTS

  1. Certainly an interesting concept. I’ve cruised to Grand Cayman many times, and it’s not all that unusual, especially in the December time-frame, for high winds and associated cold fronts passing through the area to make tendering impossible. It seems that docking is much preferred over tendering in terms of efficiency of passenger movement, and the tendering process can get very tricky during thunderstorms and high winds. Not to mention the extra time required for tendering. So, perhaps this concept might be a good solution to the current situation. You have to admit it’s a pretty unique idea.

  2. Sorry but I just have to….Why would you even considering going to Cayman with 20,000 others / hr….I use to work on cruiseships and saw the change over the years as we had a few calls to C. Last time, about 10 years ago, it was a tendering services from 3 huge and ‘mine’, a smaller ship..and you even had to walk in line on the sidewalk…and now- more…unfortunately too late for Cayman.. totally overcrowded!! ?

  3. What’s wrong with tendering? I fully support not building a pier but the article didn’t address why tendering has become an issue.

    • It was addressed. It’s for keeping countless tenders out of the water, which helps save the eco-system. Re-read this paragraph from the article: “You’re traversing people through the air from terminals that are out in the water, at depths that make sense in terms of not stirring up turbidity and not having silt issues, and not having to damage the reefs transporting them to the port, and doing so in quite a rapid manner.”

  4. The cruise industry grows daily through innovations that first began when the very first steamship s.s. SAVANNAH crossed the North Atlantic back on May 22nd 1819 from Savannah to Liverpool / Since then we’ve made great strides in the industry to make cruising more affordable and enjoyable / While the cable car concept looks fine in the artist’s conceptions and would certainly be a first, what would happen if there was fog, a sudden heavy rain squall reducing visibility to maybe a hundred feet or so, or a sudden unseen gust of heavy winds or the engine telegraph was rung forward instead of in reverse ??? / If a ship hits the tower a whole line could be lost for quite sometime let alone the possible loss to human life if the gondolas are filled with happy first time or even the well seasoned cruiser like myself / I’ve Guest Lectured on 76 different passenger and cruise ship well over two hundred voyages in addition to being a US Merchant Mariner for 31 years / Is the immediate cruise ship dock permantly attached below or if its floating is it heavily dolphined to prevent any movement or the possibility of breaking free from a cold core storm such as Sandy that hit America’s East Coast some 2 years ago and don’t forget the hurricane that was predicted as being a major but was ignored through stupidity and it wiped out Galveston Texas in 1900 / While I welcome the idea please think it out fully and build it correctly so that a casualty won’t give the cruising industry a black eye / I’d like to be the first on board and good luck with the venture / I do welcome your comments at [email protected] /

  5. “The cable car system would be able to transport up to 20,000 cruise passengers per hour on the four lines, ” Might want to check your math on that. This does not add up. 20,000/hr 333 people a minute with 33 cars at each end unloading and loading. How is that even physically possible?

    • @Connie – There is mention of wheelchair accessible lifts available to use, and also the option to schedule advance boat tender if you are afraid of heights.

    • Im with Connie my husband is handicap and in an electric wheel chair we are able to tender into Grand Caymens if weather is permitting but will we be able to get him onto the new cable car?

Comments are closed.

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