Port remains CIG priority, says Kirkconnell

| 27/04/2016 | 88 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship passengers getting on a tender vessel in George Town Harbour, Grand Cayman

(CNS): The government has begun the search to find engineers to design the proposed cruise berthing facility in George Town. Despite a major divide within the community and after public consultations largely rejected the idea, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the government still considers the project a priority as the proposal was in the PPM manifesto, giving them a mandate from the people. With no certainty yet over how the very costly project will be financed, the tourism ministry said advertisements would begin appearing in the local and international print media Wednesday.

In a press releases Tuesday the ministry said it was acting on orders from Cabinet to move forward with discussions about strategy with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to engage cruise lines on the commercial terms regarding the proposed cruise berthing facility and review plans for the least possible environmental impact of the facility, including repositioning of the piers. Cabinet has, however, already accepted the Environmental Impact Statement for the project which outlines the extensive direct and indirect destruction of the reef system in and around the George Town Harbour.

Despite myriad unaddressed questions about how the cruise piers will impact the islands’ infrastructure and wider tourism product from a likely concentrated seasonal increase in passengers, as well as the financial implications for the public purse, the tourism minister is continuing to press ahead.

“My ministry continues to have productive discussions with cruise lines in relation to their involvement in the berthing facility and contact has been made with the FCO,” said Deputy Premier Kirkconnell. “This next step of civil engineering design works represents significant progress and is needed for the financing model of the cruise lines. The construction of a cruise berthing facility is a project that the Progressives campaigned on and pledged in our election manifesto to deliver for the people of the Cayman Islands.

“Government believes it has the mandate of the people to deliver on that pledge and this project is considered a priority,” Kirkconnell added, even though surveys and both public and private sector consultation results all indicated that the majority of people in the Cayman Islands do not support the proposed project. The Chamber of Commerce and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association have expressed their reservations, and the government’s own surveys found that the public was roughly three to one against.

Having already spent several million dollars of public cash, the minister is pressing ahead with the next step without any certainty that the UK will approve the project or that government will be able to secure the financing from the cruise lines without liability or upland development, which would undermine one of government’s main reasons for pursuing the costly and controversial project.

In order to negotiate with the cruise lines for a financing model, the ministry said it must first obtain detailed civil engineering designs that include costs to construct the cruise berthing facility, adding that it would keep the public informed as plans for the piers progress.

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  1. Kittyboy says:

    Blah blah blah, the govt. does nothing but yak.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For all the fear-mongers and greedy simpletons that think our fully-extended and folly-prone Cayman Gov’t must find innovative ways to saddle us with greater heaps of debt (because no liner will pay for this increasingly dumb/expensive blue water pier idea)…here’s the cruise ship order book for every passenger ship either in, or for planned construction over the next 10 years (including passenger capacity, delivery date, shipyard): http://www.cybercruises.com/orderbook.htm

    We can quickly surmise that, globally, there are only 6 new “jumbo” liners (pass= >5k), 5 at the preliminary design/discussion stage and are destined for discount liner brands: 2 at AIDA (CCL); 2 at Costa (CCL); 2 at Royal Caribbean (RCL) that are earmarked to operate in expanding Asian and European cruise markets, and 5 of those for possible/projected delivery beyond 2018+.

    CCL and RCL are, of course, public domain companies with disclosure requirements and extensive international analyst coverage. There are no secret plans to build liners just in case the Cayman Islands decides to construct a new Caribbean pier. We need to get real.

    Why would any reasonable person, with access to this information, continue to discuss building a four-berth port facility when there are no available ships (now, or on the horizon) of the description it would be intended to service? How dumb would that be?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac’s independence wishes will drive out the financial industry, and the income from tourism will have to fill part of the income shortfall….that is why we need this.

  3. Jotnar says:

    I thought not resolving the dump, and not granting any more PR applications was the PPMs priority? They are doing a fine job on both those scores, but never get any thanks from their electorate for that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can you please put a few deck chairs, ice cream shops and a bar at the end of the piers because if these ever get built lets say 2022 Cayman will have defiantly missed the boat.
    They should have been constructed years ago, time now for the tourist board to refocus there target market

    At least have some good views from the end of these two white elephants…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tendering is fun.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them……

    Transform this island into a tourist playgrounds, destory
    mangrove swamps and wetlands, pollute beautiful beaches ….and see what happens.

    • Susan E Stock says:

      You are so right. Why give up the natural reefs, beaches etc. because that is what attracts people to Cayman. That’s the specialness of it. Not the shopping. Once it’s gone it won’t come back.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did Moses Kirkconnell actually travel to the US?

  8. Reggie says:

    The future of cruise lines is Mega Ships and there is no way they will tender passengers into a port. If the new piers are not built there will be very few cruise ships to visit Grand Cayman. Let us all look to the future or relive the past, circa 1980. Please support this project or it will forever be lost and tata Grand Cayman. Yes air traffic is up but I think that is because of DOT so give them credit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try reading the news instead of drinking Moses cool ade. There are hundreds of cruise ships that tender, including some of the mega ships.

      • Anonymous says:

        anon 613 all of the large cruise ship organizations like carnival are moving to the larger ships. Those cruise lines probably represent 90% of all cruise passengers coming to cayman. Are there other organizations that have smaller cruise ships that would come? Yes but no where near enough to support those depending upon the current cruise industry. And please idiots this is not a kirkbot. These are facts.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well of course if you say you are not a Kirkbot then that ends any such biased speculation.

          • Anonymous says:

            so the taxis dont benifit from the cruise ports, the people that work near the port have to pay rent, buy food, pay electricity, pay water. what those companies around the george town area are they all kirk freeport. there are so many people benifiting from cruise industry and you children continue to throw out the kirkbot. you people have your own agenda not whats best for the country.

            • Funny says:


            • Anonymous says:

              If the taxis didn’t rip off everyone left right and centre they wouldn’t have to totally rely on cruisers as residents would also use them.
              Three taxis three different prices between $15 and $50 clearly one thought I was a mug tourist.
              They need regulation!!!!!

            • Anonymous says:

              I’d like Cayman’s Taxi and small merchant industry to actually Google what happens to ports and jobs (like Falmouth) once the jumbo liners arrive. There are hundreds of stories from every destination around the world of the liners bringing in their own prepaid equipment to move larger volumes of people quicker and safer and in a controlled manner. In ALL instances, the new logistics equates to more international chain stores, lower foot traffic in towns, and a sharp decline in unscripted taxi fares. Without exception, the little guys and merchants get crushed. It is the OPPOSITE of what so many people assume would happen, but that’s how it goes. Please read and learn what’s already played out many, many, times around the world:


        • Anonymous says:

          You forgot to tell the Kirkbots that you were not a Kirkbot ………….. look….. they are voting thumbs up for you ………….. how embarrassing that must be

          Here is a fact for you…….. 100% of passengers that those “large cruise ship organization like carnival” bring here are carried on their existing tenderable fleet.
          They also have additional tenderable ships that sail right by Cayman every week……… why are we not chasing after them in order to increase the numbers in the duty free stores?.

          Justifying we can afford to build a $300million cruise port by removing our pension liability from our balance sheet is pure financial lunacy.

          Did you not read what Archer said? By listing our pension liability on the balance sheet, we cannot even meet the requirements of the PMFL law.

          Now fools like you want to carry the liability of a $300million dock as another “off the balance sheet” liability?
          Oh yes……….. the cruise lines, or someone else will build it? We will still have to pay for it by giving away the income we now collect from cruise passengers ……….. for umpteen years.

          Go ahead…… let Moses have his shiny new dock……….. our children and grandchildren can pay for it after I am dead and gone ……….. Really?


        • Anonymous says:

          The global ship order book shows that most liners are building or planning to build SMALLER ships, not larger. That’s a fact, where are yours?

    • Anonymous says:

      so how come cayman now has more cruise ship visitors than ever before?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Carnival will fund a pier with a guarantee that the dock is always used by them. Likewise other cruise lines will too.Therefore WE WILL NOT PAY FOR A DOCK. The cruise lines pay an amount per person aprox. $10 each.
    The reason this dock has not started yet is because of owner of tenders and friends . PPM has tried to compromise with environmental concerns that wouldn’t exist if pier would be built. None of the people are concerned with the corals that has been broken. Every time that an anchor is dropped on the reef by the drop off . A pier would stop that. That area is over 1500 feet long. Has anyone heard anyone say stop dropping ANCHORS??
    We are stupid if we think that banking is a thing for the future. Thats going faster then you can say money laundering or FATCA. We had over 600 banks and now we have 184? So with less banking where are all the people driving to town for????
    The UK will be next to stop more banking with beneficial ownership. Moses Kirkconnell is family to WATLERS AND BODDENS which should include practically all Caymanians on three islands. So I wish people would stop with the family thing it’s boring and only confuses the foreigners.
    I would like to say 2 words about finishing another High School in Cayman WASTED MONEY. Children who go to school and graduate after 12 years got no education because it was free. Parents should pay something to put children in school. We can’t afford to give a school free where children are stupider then when they started? Where children can’t speak proper english and we pay a school teacher US$60,000 per year . Children have iPhones and expensive sneakers but can’t add, multiply, divide or subtract after so many years. They are systematically being pushed through the schools without passing the curriculum needed for the next grade. They feel so disenfranchised by not being able to understand the grades they have been pushed through they take on a new persona. (The “bad boy”) because they can’t go to school in the morning without feeling stupid and useless. They are doing drugs, sex and other crimes to be noticed. When they graduate they are lost.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Of course it should be a priority, they done got elected to build the thing and to expand the airport. Next they need to start work on the dump but no body else wants a dump in they back yard so we all going to argue about that one. oh well at least they can get secured the tourist coming to our island so we can make some money and support our families.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So your telling us that Caymanian government will happily work as hard as ever and spend as much as they have in the past in the hopes that some thing different will happen. Wow! Like taking candy from a baby. When are the Caymanian people going to wake up and see what a rip off they have bought into. The only kind of projects they have done now cost millions of dollars every year just to keep open.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why won’t the PPM & Cabinet accept that the problem is not with HAVING a new port – it’s with where they want to put the thing. If they put it on the west coast of our island, which will destroy the west coast of our island, there won’t be any tourists coming here by sea OR by air to use either new port! Cruse ship passengers bering in but a tiny fraction of what the stay-over air arrivals bring in. It makes NO sense to kill the proverbial goose we call Seven Mile Beach so a few GT merchants can line their pockets at the expense of the future of our truly lucrative tourism product.Open your eyes, and ears, politicians!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think the majority has a problem with the port being built, but more of the TYPE of port they want to build. There are for more unique port designs on the table that would make Cayman stand out.

    Why they won’t even bother to acknowledge the better port designs is beyond me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Not even funny anymore with all those fake LIKES. This has been beaten to death already and only an idiot will continue to hit on that thumb up button. You can take a break buddy before you get a calloused finger. Nobody wants this project but you and the Tourism Minister.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If this dock doesn’t get built soon this place is done. period. full stop.
    Stop trying to protect such a small group that are interested in stopping the docks.
    These docks are for the rest of Cayman.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The government have to keep on that this is a priority because of the millions spent on consultations.
    If everyone is honest nothing will be done before election time and in any case probably take six years to build minimum and cayman will have certainly missed the boat by then

  17. Anonymous says:

    I find it an interesting coincidence that the Minister pushing the cruise dock forward is a close relative of a major jewelry retailer who will supposedly benefit greatly by the construction of this massive project which really is unnecessary.
    Does conflict of interest exist in Cayman?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see that the misguided and misrepresented bunch of anti cruise crusaders that are few and far between didn’t affect this vital infrastructure project that will keep our economy strong.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yawn…Kirkconnell-bots are back.

    Screw the port, there are more important things to deal with.

  20. Anonymous says:

    There are two pillars in Cayman, Finance and Tourism.
    Finance is dying and Cayman will see much of this industry disappear with time. Tourism will inevitably become the main bread winner for our islands. We can either pretend everything is merry in lala land or get with the times and protect our future.
    The Piers must happen and happen now or we are doomed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 12:01 That’s odd because I thought it was the other way round. But then if you believe all the BS coming out of DoT you probably haven’t realised that yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Finance is alive and well thank you. Your brain seems to be the thing that is dying.

  21. Anonymous says:

    PPM is damned if you do and damned if you dont.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The only way we take back the focus of cayman for Caymanians is through the diligence of people like moses kirkconnell and his efforts on the airport and cruise port. Ppm is at least getting their promises for us Caymanians done. Keep going

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM kool aid drinking zombies in full defense of stupid spending mode. LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        Stupid spending, like casinos, private planes , “bodyguards,” Cohen deal! $2million to settle port contract, $840,000 for family land in West Bay, valued at $75,000 ….it’s a pretty long and damning list, want more examples of Stupid Spending..?

        • Anonymous says:

          Try dozens of trips to china at our expense on port ‘negotiations’ that finally had to be stopped by the UK.

        • Anonymous says:

          You forgot to mention the 2 million offer to buy all the wotes in West Bay and the $69,000.00 “grant” to someone (not just someone) to learn to play ball.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:33. You are so right. When will our stupid people wake up and smell the roses. The port will serve its purpose. One and ałl will benefit from it.
          Stop the crude expressions, they help no one. We are supposed to be a civilized people.

        • Reality Check says:

          PPM financial management legacy is attempting is to build three schools at the same time with no money the big one eventually costing 110m in Frank Sound while John Gray is a derelict construction site for nearly a decade. Let’s not get into the Beulah Smith site and new GT primary campus.

          Now the priority of PPM is a 300m cruise dock they cannot afford which the FCO will not sign off. In addition to a 100m airport and an inland road towards the eastern district to free up family land belonging to cabinet ministers. Does the PPM understand the principle of conflicts of interests and abuse of office?

          The result for Cayman is legacy of mismanagement and debt just like last time. Understand the PPM and UDP is “Same dog puppy” take off your rose colored glasses and face the facts.

        • Lets hope the Airport gets finished and not left half done like so many other Govt projects in the past.Finish it NOW and then worry about the dock.The cruise ships will STILL come regardless like they have for the past 25 + years(without a pier in place) when the a/port is done its time to work on the dock.How many years have the ships threatened to stop coming?but still they come.I support cruise tourism always have and always will but NOT if the masses swarm ashore and chase away the real money spenders our stayover visitors.Do you really think that we can handle more than 4 ships sensibly?
          But there are many of you out there that think so regardless of the madness that will continue on our main roads.Too many people think that the more ships per day will equal to lots of money in pockets but think about it seriously Plenty ships does not mean more spending.

          • Anonymous says:

            You obviously haven’t been paying much attention to this issue. The goal is not to attract a ton more, it is to attract the better customers, the ones that spend more money and eat in restaurants while on island.

            • And u hide your name.Let me say again that are we only going to allow 4 mega ships PERIOD or will there be another 3or4 anchoring further north?If YOU want that then I pity the chaos on our crazy roads.

            • SMH says:

              Because the cruise industry is renowned for passengers that want to spend their money in restaurants on island when they are fed free of charge on board. And I thought the piers argument was based on getting the bigger ships with more passengers – “a ton more” – not in attracting “better ” customers. You obviously haven’t been paying much attention to this issue.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank God there is a government in place that can keep a steady hand even through a few loud ignorant “environmentalist tender owners” misconstrued voices. It is so obvious the benefits this will create for Caymanians to all those who have half a brain or more. I have yet to speak to one educated person who is against this (other than those who own the tender company or are friends of them).

    Once this is built, it will be hilarious to see those who compliment it once they realize how important it was for Cayman and her people. Moses, please keep the level head and steady hand that you have always had. and God bless you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think we should ask the foreign airlines to pay for the new airport.

  25. Anonymous says:

    the ppm flip-floped on daylight savings time for little or no reason….so they must surely back away from the port due to the considerable opposition to this throughout the community……..

    • Anonymous says:

      “considerable opposition…” that’s laughable. there might have been 100 Caymanians at the “BIG” protest in town. all the rest were not local and definitely not voters. Unnu keep movin on and get this built so us little people can eat and make a living.

  26. Anonymous says:

    yawn…more talk about talks….bottom line is we are still at square one…..and we will be at the time of the next election….
    classic stuff from the do-nothing ppm

    • Anonymous says:

      10:53. Haven’t heard of any spending in casinos or strip clubs charged to CIG credit cards. I am sure, they are not that stupid. Is that what you are expecting?

      • Anonymous says:

        stop comparing the do-nothing ppm to the last rubbish udp gov….its like dumb and dumber…
        set your expectations higher!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Moses is a family puppet. Does he forget that the dump was in the manifesto?

    • SSM345 says:

      Can someone please explain to me how this man, Moses, is allowed to spearhead this project and continue with its progression when the main proponents for this are HIS FAMILY AND THEIR DUTY FREE BUSINESS?

      Does anybody in the Cayman Islands Government understand what a conflict of interest is?

      There are more people opposed to his destructive project than there are in favor of it, but lets move forward?

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses has no conflict of interest. He told us so and that settled the question.

    • Anonymous says:

      The dump is not in his portfolio.
      Maybe it should be, I bet he would get it done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, we need the dock so more tourists can come see the dump for themselves.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Moses this dock is nobody’s priority. Look at the morning traffic. Imagine 4 megaships with 20,000 people and GT closed to thorughfare. Imagine south sound completely clogged . I do not want to give up my sanity every morning due to the Kirkconnell family’s special intersts. Also please do not put us in $300 million debt – opposition please oppose PPM in their madness.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean as opposed to the special interests of the briggs and tender boat owners that also own sunset who manufacturered the whole campaign against the port?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll give you an even more depressing scenario.

      In order to boost tourism CIG mortgage us all to the hilt building a nice new cruise dock, updating the airport, leasing new aircraft for CAL and handing out $millions in duty waivers to hotels that may or may not be built. They’ve no idea how cost/effective these plans really are but, like most CIG capital projects in recent years, they’re determined to spend the money anyway.

      Meanwhile, Cuba opens up allowing outside investors to pour $billions into hotel, cruise resort and real estate development there so that tourists will flood in from the USA. The net result is that there is no way on this planet that CIG can recoup their ‘investments’ in tourism because the people simply aren’t here. That leaves us all (except the ex-pats, who can simply re-locate) up s**t creek without a paddle.

      The problem with CIG is that they’re living in fantasy land. One day they’re going to be forced to wake up and realise that when it comes to serious revenue earning tourism they’ve being left in most other destination’s dust.

      The Cayman Islands has failed to cash in on the lucrative UK and European markets because DoT don’t understand the concept of AI (all inclusive) tourism. While fixating on a mythical ‘high end’ tourism product they’ve lost ground in the Canadian market and, despite all the hype, some of the recent figures from the USA are also not too good.

      The problem was recently neatly summed up by a friend of mine – TDE – Too Damned Expensive. The Cayman Islands has priced itself out of one of the most competitive markets on this planet and once out it is very, very difficult to get back in.

      If anyone tells you tourism is booming here, we’re on a roll or things couldn’t be better they’re delusional. I can go back over 25 years in making comparisons and the dive business, which was what tourism was built on here, is a pale shadow of what it used to be.

      • Anonymous says:

        All inclusive tourism is the last focus Cayman needs. Unless of course you only want billionaire investors and multinationals to take every single dollar of benefit. It is called “All Inclusive” for a reason, ALL of the money stays in one resort and they don’t spend on restaurants, shopping, nothing outside the hotel.

      • Anonymous says:

        So we had more divers 25 years ago is that what you are saying.

  29. Anonymous says:


    the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
    the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
    the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., especially during a shortage.
    something given special attention
    highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.:

    Are you sure he meant to use this word?

  30. Bean Counter says:

    How can the PPM afford the port and all the other capital work projects they are attempting to do e.g. airport, east west arterial roads ?

    How much will it cost?

    Where will the monies come from?

    How did the port become the PPM’s main priority?

    What about finishing the schools if they have extra monies?

    • Anonymous says:

      By getting the ships to fund it just like how the airport gets revenue from the airplanes and head taxes when everybody lands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Poor ting go have another cup of that Kool aid that turns people silly enough to to believe unicorns and fairy tales. If you believe that cruise lines are just going to give money and control of the dock to this government

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no such thing as a free lunch in business wake up

        • Anonymous says:

          Been posted before but worth repeating. I bet that if CIG gave Carnival land on the Brac for their exclusive use they’d be happy to build another resort like the one on Grand Turk. What you aren’t going to get is cruise lines digging in their pockets to fund anything that’s being master-minded by CIG – they aren’t stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the papers, the money will come from not listing our pension liabilities on our balance sheet!
      It is that easy.

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