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Carnival Spending $70 Million for a Private Port on an Impoverished Haitian Island

Aug 06, 2014 4:00 am

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Just a note to the PR team: Next time Carnival issues statements about spending tens of millions of dollars on a very poor island it may want to mention opportunities for residents to participate in the profit sharing.

— Jason Clampet

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Robert Neff  / Flickr

A Carnival ship docked at Carnival's gated port in Honduras. Robert Neff / Flickr


Carnival Cruise Lines‘ corporate parent will build a new $70 million cruise ship port on the Haitian island of Tortuga, making it the seventh Carnival-owned port in the Caribbean.

Ile de la Tortue, off Port-de-Paix on Haiti’s northwestern coast, will be Haiti’s second cruise port. Tortuga is west of Labadee, where Royal Caribbean, Carnival’s chief rival, has a private beach.

Carnival Corp. has nine cruise lines, including, Carnival Cruise Lines — its largest — Princess and Holland America. The company owns ports in Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Puerta Maya, Cozumel; and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Carnival also is developing a port in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, that is scheduled to open in 2015.

The island of Tortuga — named by Christopher Columbus for its turtle-like shape — historically was a center of piracy. More recently, it’s been a jumping-off point for clandestine migrant-smuggling operations.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the port last week. Carnival said the $70 million project will be the largest cruise industry investment ever made in Haiti.

“The development will create an exciting opportunity for our guests to enjoy a new, secluded and stunning destination on the island of Tortuga that the company expects will become a highly popular place for guests to enjoy for years to come,” David Candib, a Carnival Corp. vice president, said in a statement Monday.

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