CIG to press on with cruise port plan

| 30/09/2015 | 289 Comments
Cayman News Service

The Balboa Shipwreck and reef is located in 10 to 30 feet of water immediately in front of the cruise ship landing and will be completely removed by dredging operations if the cruise berth goes ahead as planned. Many consider the Balboa to be both the number one and number two of the top ten dive sites in Grand Cayman – night dive is #1, day dive is #2 (Photo by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): In an announcement greeted by a stunned silence at the Ritz-Carlton Wednesday, the premier said that government is pressing ahead with the cruise port facility. With no formal Cabinet decision or the PWC updated business case and in the absence of the ministers for the environment and finance, Alden McLaughlin said government was moving to the next stage. As the environmental impact assessment has indicated that Seven Mile Beach is not under threat, the premier said Cayman was faced with protecting its economy or protecting the environment, as he revealed that CIG would now discuss with the UK and cruise lines about how the project will be financed.

In a speech that received very little reaction from the Chamber of Commerce audience at its annual Legislative Lunch, the premier, as had been suspected, made the announcement that despite the massive environmental damage expected, government still wants to press on. He said that the business case was “favourable”, though the updated review has not been made public.

He said that Cayman was the only Caribbean destination that did not have cruise piers and if it was to retain the cruise business it had developed over the last forty years, it needed a dock.

Check back to CNS later for more on this story and other announcements from the premier at the annual business-political lunch hosted by the Chamber.

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Category: development, Economy, Local News, Marine Environment, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (289)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If it didn’t seem so far-fetched, it would seem this is PPM going UDP, Alden (and Moses) going McKeeva. Seriously now, corals and reefs being moved and transplanted, when facts say the majority will die? Not that change is bad, in fact it sometimes needs to be encouraged, to put it mildly. But please explain why James Whittaker’s, Green Tech, Cayman Sky Bridge is not enough.

  2. This Berthing port battle is not over with this politician making this comment and this is just the beginning of the war that the Cayman Islands Tourism Department, Cayman Islands Department of Environment, Hotels, Condos and the Water sports operators are going to win!!!!

  3. At Last says:

    Building this dock is the best possible thing that could happen to the Cayman people

    I have work in town, I have worked in the water sports business and most of my family including myself dive so I full understand how the ocean works and businesses on both sides.

    The current situation we have in town is a disaster. Between shops closing, the little businesses can’t survive. The only way to make sure we have good experience for our guests and jobs for hundreds of locals is to get this dock done.

    I will admit that I did vote for PPM but only this last time I have voted for many others over the years too. I have herd the same promises year after year but never expected to see that one government could actually get things right all together in one shot.

    I applaud Alden and his crew because they will make Cayman a better place for all of us.

    • Woof woof says:

      The building of the cruise piers signals the demise of our natural environment , for the die has now been cast and precedent established for unbridled environmental destruction in the name of prosperity for the people. Certainly a befitting eulogy read by the Merchant beloved People’s Progressive Movement or is it madness.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This dock is nothing more than a bailout for a failing business model of the downtown merchants. The Cruise ship industry has changed and will continue to change so the dinosaurs need to adjust to the new climate or go extinct.

    Modern day cruise ship passengers have much lower disposable income than those of the past. They don’t spend money on island to the same degree and with a birthing dock they are more free to leave and return to the boat, which will cause them to spend even less as they will just return to the boat for meals etc. Modern day cruise passengers are just sightseers and window shoppers. So spending more economic and environmental capital to bring more of these to the island is many levels beyond stupid.

    We need to market ourselves more and target the high disposable income tourist. Brand our product as the best experience in the Caribbean where you don’t encounter panhandling or a mass amount of people trying to be in a place too small to accommodate them comfortably.

    Cayman is different so why follow the rest of the Caribbean with a mega dock? Lets be OURselves and play to OUR strengths and not try to be the mini jamaica or dominican republic or cuba.

    40 years from now when private air travel will be the norm with technology advances, will we be happy we didn’t invest in this massive relic of the past or will we stare at it with disgust and wish we were more forward thinking?

  5. fyi says:

    The Government should go with the 8 million dollar cruise terminal plan that was proposed by the port director before they refused to renew his contract

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