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New Central American Port Awaits Cruisers in 2012

  • Mar 18, 2010; By: Susan Young; Travel Agent Central

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Bay of Trujillo

By 2012, cruise ships departing U.S. ports may head for a new Caribbean cruise destination, “Banana Coast” at TrujilloHonduras. Just 45 miles south of Roatan, the deep-water natural harbor of Trujillo is poised to become Honduras’ first mainland cruise port. Officials announced details of the port project at Cruise Shipping Miami this week.

Infused with a $20 million investment, the new Banana Coast Landing will include a dock capable of handling two post-Panamax size vessels (essentially vessels that are too large to transit the Panama Canal). The project will also include a 50,000-square-foot themed retail shopping destination, a marina and a transportation hub.

Historically, explorer Christopher Columbus came ashore at Trujillo in 1502. The city itself was founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1525. This destination combines a unique mix of white sandy beaches, a colonial Spanish city, eco-sites, cultural diversions and new tourism draws to entice cruisers.

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The Colonial City in Trujillo

The beach is near where cruisers will disembark the ship. Trujillo’s walkable downtown is just a short distance away. The city’s prime tourism draws include the Santa Barbara Fort and cannons overlooking the Bay of Trujillo; historic churches; and the former embassy consulates of France, the UK and the U.S.

Cruisers will have options for interacting with the native Garifuna, Pech and Miskito cultures of the area. Eco-tourism is expected to also be a big draw, as the area has many waterfalls, rivers, tropical rainforest, hot springs, caves, mountains and the Guaimoreto Lagoon Nature Reserve.

Another diversion for visitors? The developer will build a themed cultural park, much along the lines of Discover Mexico on Cozumel. The goal is to give cruisers “a taste” of what Honduras offers. Four separate areas include a nature park, river park, wildlife park and heritage park.

While developers acknowledge the city needs some restoration work, they also say the Honduran government is addressing this as a priority. “Development of a new cruise destination at Trujillo has been an ambition for many years,” said Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, the president of Honduras. “The government of Honduras plans to support the project with investment to help get one of our fantastic colonial cities ready for cruise tourism.”

Developing the project is the Grande Trujillo Authoridad, which is a partnership between the municipality of Trujillo, an investment group and Life Vision Developments in conjunction with Global Destinations Developmenof Miami; the latter is a strategic consultant and cruise destination developer.

Project planning for Banana Landing is under way, including work on site architecture, tour planning and marketing programs. While the facilities will be completed for cruise line use as early as 2012, the developers hope that smaller and medium-sized ships might call sooner. No cruise lines have yet announced plans to call at the new port, but it’s early in the process.

For more information email Global Destinations at

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Making Waves

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MIAMI – Cruise ships making ports of call around the Caribbean Basin have grown from the size of floating hotels to floating villages in recent decades, requiring deeper harbors and longer berths in exchange for more and more passengers ready to spend money in these sunny destinations.

Scrambling to lure the new mega cruise ships that bring as many as 6,000 people at a time to spend the day, Caribbean countries have spent in the past three years or plan to spend almost $500 million. The port authorities have worked with the three big cruise lines that developed the giant ships, from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to the Disney Dream and the Carnival Dream.

The capital spending in Caribbean ports mirrors in many ways the investments being carried out in big cargo and container ports in South America to prepare for more trade and larger container vessels set to arrive after the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014.

Financial analysts say the money spent to attract the cruise vessels offers a boost to the small countries.

“The investments pay off immediately in income and employment and other social benefits,” said Michael Greve, a cruise industry analyst at Global Destinations Development LLC in Miami.

A City on a Ship

The largest of the mega-ships is the16-deck Royal Caribbean Oasis, which made its maiden voyage in early December from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. With 2,700 staterooms, 5,400 passengers and half as many crewmembers, the Oasis offers plenty of diversions even if it is stormy outside: 24 restaurants, nightclubs and seven distinct “neighborhoods” under glass, from Central Park and Boardwalk to the Pool and Sports Zone and the Youth Zone. For one of its stops on the Western Caribbean itinerary, Royal Caribbean built a 260-acre private fun park on the secluded, mountainous western coast of Haiti.

Disney’s newest giant will entertain 4,000 passengers beginning in 2011, sailing from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, including Disney’s private adventure island, Castaway Cay, near Great Abaco Island, a short sail from Nassau.

The Carnival Dream, completed in 2009, at 130,000 tons and with typical capacity of 3,600 passengers, sails from Port Canaveral on alternating weeklong voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Upgrading services may be expensive, but it is necessary. At the December launch of the Oasis, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Adam Goldstein told reporters safety, medical services and public health were crucial to the visiting passengers.

“Those are areas where we have to be really state-of-the-art and where we expect, through our partnerships with the destination, that our guests will be always very well looked after,” Goldstein said.

Big Ships, Big Bucks

Jamaica’s Tourism Ministry has set aside $87 million just to upgrade its crafts markets for the cruise visitors.

Authorities in the Bahamas spent $42 million on dredging to widen and deepen the channel to the Nassau harbor for the world’s largest class of vessels. Port authorities still plan to move the cargo terminal away from downtown Nassau and convert the old docks and straw market into an upgraded tourist zone.

Dredging to accommodate the Oasis at Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas will cost more than a $500,000. The Ports of Charlotte Amalie Economic Development Group – a public private partnership – is working with the Virgin Islands Port Authority and West Indian Company Ltd., to ensure the port is ready for new jumbo cruise liners.

In Philipsburg, St. Maarten, A.C. Wathey Pier & Port Facility has completed a new pier and cruise terminal for the Oasis as part of a $50 million improvement project that includes a new trolley system.

On the Cayman Islands, plans are on the drawing board for a $180 million redevelopment of the port in downtown George Town that would separate the cargo and cruise facilities.

Port Everglades has spent $75 million to expand its cruise terminal to lure the world’s largest cruise ships. Port Everglades’ spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy said the Oasis is expected to generate an extra $6.2 million in revenue in the coming year. As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean Cruises pledged to reimburse Port Everglades for 89 percent for the cost of the terminal expansion, and it is also guaranteeing passengers will increase five-fold within the first five years, Kennedy said. The South Florida port expects to pay for its investment through fees from the increased number of passengers sailing to and from the port on Royal Caribbean Cruises vessels.

A Boost for Local Economies

Spending by cruise passengers has become a mainstay for some Caribbean economies and the bigger the ship, the greater the revenue stream. In St. Thomas, the population of some 51,000 people increases by around 10 percent when the Oasis is in port of this U.S. Virgin Island. A recent study commissioned by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association reported passengers and crewmembers spent $2.3 billion during shore visits in the 29 principal Caribbean cruise ports from May 2008 through April 2009. The study placed the average cruise passenger spending at $97 a day at each Caribbean port of call, while a crewmember spends $75 per visit on an average.

On top of what the Caribbean countries invested and the money spent by tourists, the cruise lines paid out $280 million in the same period for services, supplies and local taxes. All of this spending comes on top of the investments made to upgrade berths, terminals and entertainment by islands that are part of the sweepstakes to attract the super cruise liners.

The Ship Building Boom

At the start of the century, when the global economic boom seemed endless, the cruise industry ordered 36 new ships costing $22 billion. Delivery started in 2008 and the last of the mega-vessels is expected in 2012 in what seems like a riskier strategy now because of the changing economy.

Still, Greve believes the recent investments in cruise ships and in cruise port facilities will pay off. “The industry will tell you that cruising is expected to continue to expand because it is a wonderful experience that generates a lot of return customers,” Greve said. “And only about 18 or 19 percent of Americans have been on a cruise, so there is room to grow.”

But the cruise business is known for occasionally sailing into the unexpected.

In December 2009, as the massive new Carnival Dream approached the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, it gently collided with a huge adornment extending from the cruise terminal and spent the day at sea.

The Port of Jacksonville has been unable to become a homeport for the mega-vessels. Only ships measuring 170 feet (to the tip of their stacks) can cruise under the 175-foot high Dames Point suspension bridge over the St. John’s River leading to the existing berths. The port has been thwarted in its goal of building a cruise terminal east of the bridge because it cannot close a deal to acquire the land.

Author, Rick Eyerdam

Latin Trade Online, February 1, 2010


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Northern Coast development top priority in National Sustainable Tourism Strategy

The Tourism Secretariat (SETUR) together with the Honduras Institute of Tourism (IHT) is actively promoting the National Sustainable Tourism Strategy which integrates with overall the interests of Honduras.

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Tela to Trujillo Development Zone per National Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021

Honduras began working with this model in 2006 and over the next 15 years expects to have developed and anchored tourist based activity at a regional level throughout the many tourist destinations.    The model creates a sustainable plan that will positively impact many regions with economic developments, environmental awareness and responsibility and include the local stakeholders by creating employment for the many.

The short term strategy includes International Tourist Vacation Areas and encompasses the,

Bay Islands

In the Bay Islands, the sun and beach tourism should be complemented with other activities such as diving and cruises, the fabulous beaches of the islands should become places of excellence for international tourists…

Zona Maya

Archaeological Tourism today is exclusively tied to Copan Ruinas, which is the starting point of the Ruta Maya. The objectives are to ensure that tourists stay longer in the area, generate a circuit archaeological and cultural tourism, and connect with other tourist areas of short-term development in the country: the Bay Islands and Caribbean Esmeralda.

Caribbean Esmeralda

The Caribbean coast of Honduras has been identified as Caribbean Esmeralda which is aimed at regional and international tourism quality, associated with ecotourism in protected areas. Originally, Caribbean Esmeralda  was a structure that included Omoa and has now been split into two areas: Caribbean Esmeralda (Tela to Trujillo at first level priority) and Caribbean Porteño (Omoa in a third level of priority).

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SERNA Approvals Received

Earlier this month the Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Environment issued the official

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Alta Vista Beachside SERNA Certificate

SERNA certificates to Life Vision’s ALTA VISTA beach side development and the Campo Del Mar Nature Park, within the COROZ ALTA development.  In late fall 2009 SERNA inspectors had come onsite to inspect the development as part of the final phase of the SERNA

application process and were satisfied with their review.  Receiving the SERNA approval is the inceptive stage in the title registration process for lot owners.  The next juncture in the process is at the Municipal level and should expedite efficiently.



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Minister of Transportation receives Canadian INUKSHUK on eve of 2010 Winter Olympics

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Randy-bottom left, Miguel Pastor-standing

Transportation Minister Miguel Pastor was presented an INUKSHUK by Randy Jorgensen at the Meeting of the Mayors of Colon, yesterday.  Discussions on completing the coast road between Trujillo and La Cieba were tabled and received favourably by the Minister.  The coast road study has been completed and the announcement of the project is likely in the coming months.

In addition, the Mayor of Trujillo requested installation of 10km of asphalt roads within the Trujillo city limits that would effectively divert commercial traffic away from the beach and town center.  The proposed road system would establish a thoroughfare west of Trujillo, generating additional ease of access to Campa Vista, Coroz Alta and Alta Vista as well as the municipalities of Santa Fe, San Antonio, Guadaloupe and Betulia.

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    Honduras is now the most attractive foreign investment destination in Central America and Trujillo is poised to become the next Caribbean hot spot.  Honduras has in place a stable democratic government, modern infrastructure and a low cost of living.

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    Honduras is now the most attractive foreign investment destination in Central America and Trujillo is poised to become the next Caribbean hot spot. Honduras has in place a stable democratic government, modern infrastructure and a low cost of living.


    Whether you are a Real Estate investor looking to get in on the ground floor, Retiree looking to build you dream home with an ocean view, or if you are a Recreational property investor looking for a beachfront home steps away from the Caribbean, Life Vision has everything you need.

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    Whether you are a Real Estate investor looking to get in on the ground floor, Retiree looking to build you dream home with an ocean view, or if you are a Recreational property investor looking for a beachfront home steps away from the Caribbean, Life Vision has everything you need.


    The Banana Coast cruise port, currently being built in Trujillo will be the largest main land cruise port in Honduras.  Real estate opportunities in the area have started to take off and will continue to grow as the area around develops.

    Real Estate in the Caribbean

    The Banana Coast cruise port, currently being built in Trujillo will be the largest main land cruise port in Honduras. Real estate opportunities in the area have started to take off and will continue to grow as the area around develops.

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