Cruise lines are always trying to visit more places and build new and improved ships, however, recently many brands have been seeking out their own private islands as well as developing their previously owned islands. This investment allows them to offer their guests an exclusive experience during their cruise, as well as support the island’s local economy.
Royal Caribbean International is investing £142million into transforming their private, eco-certified island Coco Cay into a thrilling resort that will open in May 2019. Located in the Bahamas, it will become part of their ‘Perfect Day Island Collection’ and will include the 135-foot tall Daredevil Peak (North America’s tallest waterslide), as well as a hot air balloon tour that reaches 450 feet high.
Still being developed, the improved Coco Cay will house two new beach experiences. Chill Island and South Beach will include the first overwater cabanas in the Bahamas and various sporting activities like zorbing and glass-bottom kayaking trips. Royal Caribbean International will also help boost the local economy by providing guided eco-tours. You can visit Coco Cay on board Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas from either Miami or Orlando.
Another private island owned by Royal Caribbean International is Labadee in Haiti. This exclusive patch of land has a few new builds including a brand new floating bar, an alpine coaster and a zip line that goes across the whole resort. Shops are located near the grounds in the Artisan Village and the Artisan Market and sell locally made souvenirs like necklaces, paintings, and shirts. A new Serene Hammock area can be located on the islands Adrenalin Beach, opposite the private bungalows and floating beach mats on Nellie Beach, which are available to guests at an extra cost. The cruise line also delivers relief supplies to the local habitants. Navigator of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas both visit Labadee from Florida and Miami.
Royal Caribbean International is also planning on purchasing and developing more private islands in both Asia and Australia, so keep an eye out for those.
Disney Cruise Line has a private island called Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, which provides Disney character greetings, a water play area and a kids club for children and teens. There’s also an adult-only area called Serenity Bay. Water sports are offered including paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkelling, as well as land-based sports like volleyball and tennis. The cruise company are restoring the health of the coral reefs nearby and protecting the sea turtles that swim past.
In addition, Disney Cruise Line is also developing a new cruise port on the south side of the Island. Eleuthera, famous for its pink-coloured sand is part of 746 acres of this island that they own and will soon feature a pier, shops, many restaurants and even a marina for their guests. They have said that they’ll develop 20% of the Island – 25% of which will be designated for conservation.
MSC Cruises is developing Ocean Cay, which will be open from November 2019 onwards. This island constitutes 40 acres of white sand beaches, is situated in the west of the Bahamas and is part of the Bimini chain. It now has a lighthouse bar, Yacht Club restaurant and seven Tiki bars, as well as various water sports such as paddle boarding, surfing and kayaking, something for everybody. A dive centre can also be located on the island and offers both near-shore and off-shore diving. The Aurea Spa situated within the resort offers various beauty treatments and massages in beachside cabanas, whilst the corals surrounding the island are protected by the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. This conservation promotes harmony between vacationing and the preservation of nature.
Great Stirrup Cay
Norwegian Cruise Line own Great Stirrup Cay, located in the Bahamas, and have invested $25million to preserve and enhance this 250-acre area. On their white sandy beaches, 22 private cabanas can be spotted with padded lounge chairs inside. Activities such as jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking are all available to guests, whilst private cabanas for groups of six and eight can be hired at an extra cost. Inside, you can indulge in complimentary snacks and take in the beautiful views.
Several bars and restaurants are dotted around the area, including a new taco bar called Abaco Taco and two new bars, the Bacardi Bar and the Patron Bar. Great Stirrup Cay also now have an Underwater Sculpture Garden, perfect for young snorkelers. When aboard Norwegian Getaway, you will have the chance to visit this beautiful Bahamian island.
These companies will continue to purchase ports and develop islands to help encourage guests to come aboard their specialised cruises, as well as preserve the nearby nature and support the local economy. We could even reach a point where itineraries are entirely made up off visits to exclusive locations owned by the cruise line. If you wish to book a cruise to one of these special islands then contact us via our website or call us on 0800 035 0701.