Monday, November 21, 2016

Private Belize island welcomes first guests

Harvest Caye, a private island in southern Belize owned and developed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd., welcomed its first guests Nov. 17.

Located one mile offshore, Harvest Caye (pronounced “key”), “[O]ffers Caribbean travelers an authentic Belizean experience that highlights the country’s beauty and nature, along with resort-style amenities,” the company said in a statement announcing the facility’s opening.

Land shark Pool on Harvest Caye, Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Landshark Pool on Harvest Caye
Tourism is a top national priority in Belize, and Harvest Caye was hailed as the latest innovation driving tourism and the overall economic growth it brings to the country.

“This investment alone is projected to generate 500 direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs by the year 2020,” Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize, said. “The growth in cruise tourism over the past 20 years proves that Belize is a destination of choice for those seeking adventure, a host of natural wonders, and most importantly friendly and hospitable people.”

Four years in the making, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:NCLH) coordinated with local officials during the island’s development to ensure that the end product would offer wide range of benefits.

Harvest Caye "Flighthouse" starting point of cross-island zipline, Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Harvest Caye "Flighthouse"
“We have worked closely with the government of Belize to ensure that this spectacular destination was authentic for our guests, provided economic opportunities for the local community and preserved and protected Belize’s incredible natural beauty,” Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said.

The resort-style port of call was designed to showcase the features Belize is known for, from native plants and trees that all play a part in the destination’s eco-system, to the indigenous hardwoods used in the destination’s buildings, and the warm and welcoming Belizean team members who greet guests upon arrival, the company said.

The island features Belize’s only cruise ship pier, a seven acre white sand beach with private luxury beach villas, a 15,000 sq. ft. pool with swim up bar and numerous dining options. A zip line that starts atop the island's lighthouse takes guests skimming above the palm trees and across the island. A nature center, a variety of eco-activities and interactive wildlife programs, and adventure tours are also available.

Luxury beach cabanas on Harvey Caye, Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Luxury beach cabanas
Its close proximity to the mainland allows guests easy access to a wide variety of adventure excursions off the island as well. Once ashore, guests can explore Mayan ruins, go river rafting, take nature tours and more.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening attending by local and national Belize government officials and NCLH representatives, guests from Norwegian Dawn became the first to experience what Harvest Caye had to offer.

Other guests will have the opportunity to experience Harvest Caye on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Western Caribbean itineraries, as well as on select Caribbean sailings on Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises in the winter of 2017 and fall and winter of 2018. More information about Harvest Caye, Belize is available here

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Photos provided by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.
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