Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. announced that it secured US$130 million through a private bond offering to continue the redevelopment of the facility.
According to CEO Mike Maura, the investment indicated support and confidence in the project “during these difficult times”.
“Our success is a signal to our tourism partners that the Bahamian tourism industry, and specifically Bahamian cruise tourism, will continue to thrive,” he stated.
Nassau Cruise Port is owned by a consortium, with Turkey-based Global Ports Holding — primarily an operator of ports in Europe — a majority shareholder.
A 2018 economic impact assessment conducted by KPMG estimated that the project would have a US$300-million impact on The Bahamas’ economy during the development phase and a US$15.7-billion contribution over the 25-year concession period.
With the US$130 million, Nassau Cruise Port will support phases one and two of the redevelopment project.
Looking ahead, the company plans to launch an initial public offering in 2021 to raise capital to complete the project. Through the IPO, thousands of Bahamians will have an opportunity to invest in the cruise port, facilitating broad-based Bahamian ownership in the project.
Currently, the redevelopment of the cruise port is in the first of three phases — the demolition of current buildings and structures. Phase two, which includes completing the marine works and expanding the berthing capacity of the port, should begin within the next 60 days.
Phase three will consist of landside works, including a new arrivals terminal and plaza, Junkanoo Museum, retail Market Place, amphitheatre, and other food-and-beverage and entertainment spaces.
“We are preparing diligently for the recovery of the tourism industry and the return of millions of cruise passengers,” Maura said. “We do not know exactly when they will be back, but we are in constant communication with local and international cruise partners to ensure that we stay ahead and are prepared.”
Overall, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd plans to invest US$250 million into the redevelopment.