History was made on February 20 as Stake Bank Enterprise Ltd (SBEL) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the first ever cruise docking facility for Belize City. The highly talked-about port will be only a 10-minute boat ride from the city of Belize.
The docking facility will be able to accommodate 4 of world's largest cruise ships simultaneously. The actual island is due to facilitate the tourists from the ships with shopping, cultural attractions, and tours. There will also be a Mayan-themed water park and a beach.
The project is developed by Feinstein Group of Companies, chaired by a Belizean, Michael Feinstein. According to him, the project will cost $67 million for works on the island, and $82 million by the time the project is complete.
Feinstein added there is due to be a causeway to North Drowned Cayes, that is only around 2 miles away from the city of Belize. North Drowned Cayes will boast a terminal, with parking for two hundred buses.
President of MAC Maritime Inc., Mike McFadden, a consultant for the project, explained that was "the opportune time for Belize and cruise tourism." A total of 118 new cruise vessels are expected to enter service in the period 2018-2027. Around 39% of Caribbean's ship-cruising business would come from those 118 ships, along with the 341 cruise vessels currently in service.
Stake Bank owns 25 acres of land. It is estimated the project would be completed within a little less than two years.