By Jim Antista “The Cruiseman”
Whenever a new cruise port is announced it’s usually a good thing. This means that somebody has spent a LOT of money developing a new destination for cruise ships to stop at. This is good for several obvious reasons, the most obvious being that experienced cruisers may be getting bored going to the “same old” ports of call that have been available for years and years. New ports give the cruise lines something “new” to promote and give veteran cruisers a reason to cruise again.
New ports also mean a big economic boom to the local economy for years to come. First comes the money spent to build the cruise ports. Then comes all the new jobs for shop workers, restaurant employees, tour operators, taxi drivers, dock workers, and of course taxes and docking fees for the local politicians to spend on their cities or put in their pockets!
In recent years Carnival Corp. has created new cruise ports of call at Grand Turk Island and The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center on the island of Roatan, Honduras, spending $50 – $60 million on each project. Both of these have proven to be very popular with cruise passengers from several cruise lines. Check out their web sites for lots of information and pictures.
So, news of the opening of the new cruise port of “Banana Coast” at Trujillo, Honduras is a big deal.
Travel Dynamics International’s 130-passenger Yorktown on Monday (2/10/14) became the first cruise vessel to call at Banana Coast, a new cruise hub that has been under development in the Trujillo area for several years.
Located on the mainland, 32 miles south of the island of Roatan, the man-made landing facility includes a shopping area, tender dock and transportation center. The site also is home to a large, sandy beach.
The Caribbean destination is supported by the Campo del Mar Park System, featuring agriculture, flowers and gardens, animals and wildlife, a historical museum, 15th Century Spanish road, rivers and beach.
The Bay of Trujillo is a deep water natural harbor and was the first mainland landing spot of Christopher Columbus in 1502 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. A two-ship cruise dock and themed retail shopping village are under development at the heart of the colonial city, near the Santa Barbara Fort, cannons and charming cobblestone streets.
Honduras has a rich cultural heritage. At Banana Coast, visitors will experience the cultures of the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna, and the peaceful Pech Indians.
Plans call for a pier that will accommodate two large cruise ships. For now, ships are tendering passengers ashore.
The new port is designed as a hub for shore excursions to the nearby rainforest and to see the region’s Spanish colonial heritage, including Trujillo, a Spanish colonial town founded in 1525. A number of soft adventure trips and eco-tours are available.
Be sure to visit the “Banana Coast” web site for more details, pictures and info.
Sounds like fun to me. What do you think?