Carnival recently announced the construction of a cruise-ship terminal in the Bay of Maimon, situated some 15 minutes from Puerto Plata, the north coast’s most important city. Giora Israel, Carnival’s Vice-President of Ports and Development, met with Dominican authorities to explain what the US$65 million project consisted of. The new facility will include a modern port that will accommodate two 4,000 passenger cruise ships. The infrastructure with have a low environmental impact on the region and is scheduled to be ready in 24 months.
Davied Candib, Carnival’s Director of Project Development, praised the many attractions available in Puerto Plata, and the natural beauty of the Maimon region. Overall, said Candib, these two destinations offer exceptional conditions for the cruise ship industry. He also referred to Puerto Plata’s seaside boulevard, the region’s incredible tourist attractions, and the nearby Ocean World water park – the largest in the Caribbean.
The Carnival Cruise line has developed ports in different parts of the world. One of its most important is the port in Cozumel, Mexico, which annually receives 1.3 million visitors; the Grand Turk Island, in the Bahamas, which currently receives over 700 thousand tourists a year; the Roatan Mahogany Bay, in Honduras, which is currently handling half a million visitors a year.
The country’s Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, said the project will be a total success because it is handled by Carnival. He also said that the government of the Dominican Republic will facilitate the process and that the surrounding communities will provide all the necessary support because of the impact the project will have on their local economies.
The Dominican Republic currently operates cruise-ship ports in the cities of La Romana, Santo Domingo and Samana, in the small island of “Cayo Levantado,” on the country’s northeast region. During 2008-2010 some 1.2 million cruise passengers visited the Dominican Republic. Last year, the Cruise Association of Florida and the Caribbean held their annual conference in Santo Domingo.