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.