Royal Caribbean, the world’s largest cruise line, has announced that they have reached an agreement with the Bahamas to not only grow tourism to the country, but also to greatly enhance CocoCay that includes building a pier on the island.
Royal Caribbean has committed to a multi-year agreement with the island nation of The Bahamas that will help grow tourism to the destination, rapidly increase the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and invest in hospitality training to develop talent in the country.
At a signing ceremony attended by Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line confirmed plans for a significant investment in major enhancements to CocoCay – its private island destination in The Bahamas – which will include the construction of a pier, additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of The Bahamas to visitors.
Cruise Fever reported back in June how Royal Caribbean was in talks to build a pier on CocoCay for a cost of approximately $47 million that would allow Oasis class ships to visit the island for the first time.
As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean plans to work with The Bahamas government to develop a training program to provide those who aspire to a career in hospitality with a unique opportunity to participate in innovative training and development. The cruise line will create a curriculum that will prepare many thousands of students for careers at sea on board one of Royal Caribbean’s ships.
The classes will be facilitated by dedicated instructors who will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge to help them develop valuable and marketable hospitality skills. In addition to the classroom experience, students will receive on-site guidance and training from shipboard professionals.
Royal Caribbean has committed to rapidly growing the number of Bahamian nationals employed by the cruise line in the next five years. In addition, they have joint ownership of the Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport at which major revitalizations and drydock maintenance of its ships take place.
Operators of the world’s largest ships with an additional two mega ships under construction and four on order, Royal Caribbean currently brings 1.7 million visitors a year to The Bahamas, with plans to significantly expand that number in the next decade as they add capacity in the region. With its strategic location and proximity to the United States, Bahamian destinations are already marquee ports of call for 13 of Royal Caribbean’s ships and are consistently highly rated by guests.
Photo Credit: By UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0