PM calls port ‘major step forward’ in revitalising Downtown Nassau

PRIME Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis brought remarks during the opening ceremony for the $300m renovated Nassau Cruise Port.
Photo: Moise Amisial

PRIME Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis brought remarks during the opening ceremony for the $300m renovated Nassau Cruise Port. Photo: Moise Amisial


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis hailed the opening of the new cruise port as a “major step forward in the transformation of Nassau” on Friday, emphasising the importance of the opening to the downtown area.

He said: “Downtown Nassau holds an important place in our history, culture, and economy. While redevelopment is challenging, we remain committed to the revitalisation of downtown Nassau. We are taking bold steps to address these challenges, including demolishing existing eyesores and creating room for new development.”

Mr Davis said the goal of the new port was to ensure that “visitors who step ashore will be immersed in our heritage, creativity and excellence”.

The $300m project expands the port capacity, while Mr Davis also noted the presence of a Junkanoo museum, amphitheatre and more.

In his speech, he called on investors to help “shape the future of Nassau and create a vibrant and prosperous urban centre that we can all be proud of”.

The event was a red-carpet occasion featuring such celebrities as American model Tyson Beckford and actor Anthony Anderson. Highlights included live performances, a Junkanoo rush-out, and a mini-drone light show in the sky.

“As we move forward with our ongoing plans for redevelopment, we will redefine how visitors and locals alike interact with the downtown area in fundamental ways,” Mr Davis said. “Bay Street and the surrounding area should be grounded in the Bahamian experience in ways that demonstrate the best elements of our culture, people, and way of life.

“The port is a testament to this vision. This extensive $300m redevelopment project expands our capacity and enhances our offerings.”

“It brings with it many opportunities for Bahamian ownership and employment. Not only are there jobs directly related to the operation of the port itself, there are also formally designated areas for hair braiders, taxis, tour operators, and vendors of all kinds. Over 70 Bahamian businesses, including food vendors, Bahamian-made goods and craft stores, and tour operators, will occupy this space.”

Mr Davis also acknowledged a partnership with the University of The Bahamas that will see a 2,400sq ft space used for culinary students to build experience while showcasing Bahamian food.

Mr Davis said the government remains committed to revitalising the city. He said there are steps to address these challenges, including demolishing existing eyesores and creating room for new development.

Nassau Cruise Port CEO Mike Maura emphasised the expansive nature of the project.

He added: “We also have mega yacht berth. We have a ferry terminal with 16 berths. We have a west marina with 14 berths, all combining for 1.9 miles of vessel berth here at Nassau Cruise Port.

“While the pandemic slowed the aggressive growth of the industry, there is no question that cruising is back with record-breaking forecasted growth. Just a short while ago, Nassau welcomed 20,554 passengers in a single day.”


SP 6 months, 1 week ago

Yadda, yadda, yadda. PM Davis's comments were well-placed and beautifully announced. However, in reality, how much is the new cruise port going to contribute to resolving THE biggest, decades-old, complaint from visitors that Nassau is boring and does not have enough to do?

The new cruise port is without question a major step in the right direction. So not looking a gift horse in the mouth, we still have not addressed the elephant in the room which is, what is being done to resolve the issue of Nassau not offering enough to do as a "major" resort destination. And the even more in-depth question, as the family islands tourism explosion continues, how do we NOT repeat the same mistakes made in Nassau?

If the decades-old, and very well-documented, problem of Nassau being a boring destination is not reversed quickly the increased numbers of cruise tourist arrivals will work against us as visitors spread the word that Nassau is not worth visiting, resulting in Nassau falling lower in guest satisfaction polls.

Successive government administrations did not understand the ramifications of losing the Drumbeat Club, Ronnies Rebel Room, King and Knights, Fore and Aft, The Cabaret Show, Dirty Dicks, Down Under, the back room, and so many, many, more nighttime entertainment venues that made Nassau literally come alive after dark as visitors would expect to find in a major Caribbean resort destination.

One of our genius, idiot, politicians as Minister of Tourism started using the term "hotel experience". This is by far the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. No one travels anywhere for a "hotel experience"!

People travel to experience new people and cultures. NO ONE went to any Caribbean destination looking for a "hotel experience".

We simply CANNOT expect a resort destination without proper evening entertainment to survive! We are also losing Billions in lost revenue as visitors take disposable income meant for entertainment BACK HOME!

This is a crisis situation that needs to be forefront in the minds of the government!


K4C 6 months ago

ATTENTION Y'all BSers, Nassau downtown was eradicated by the PLP, there is NO local entertainment on Bay street today, the stores of yesteryear are long gone and there's no saving for what's there today for tourist as it was in the bygone days


truetruebahamian 6 months ago

The video of a passenger saying that the 45 minutes that she was allowed for shopping off board wasn’t near enough time to shop compare and buy before having to get back on board the ship so that it could sail on to its private island with its captive passengers and their captive wallets. New rules must be put in place demanding overnight stays in Nassau- that would guarantee the impetus to recreate night life and restaurant endeavours in town, maybe even a night club or three with live shows and showcasing local talent. The spirit of Sweet Richard might even return. Remember, we can set the rules regarding these mega cruise companies, we cannot now or ever allow them to dictate to us.


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