Favorite port also serves as a model of sustainable tourism development
SEATTLE, Nov. 9 /CNW/ -- Holland America Line will mark the 10th
anniversary of the opening of Half Moon Cay as a cruise ship port of call on
Dec. 12 when the ms Amsterdam visits the premium line's award-winning private
In December 1996, Holland America Line purchased the uninhabited
2,400-acre island of Little San Salvador from several Bahamian owners for $6
million and debuted Half Moon Cay as a port of call Dec. 12, 1997. The line
initially invested $16 million in the facility -- which today is situated on
approximately 50 acres -- and developed it according to the guidelines of the
Business Charter for Sustainable Development established by the International
Chamber of Commerce.
"Dec. 12 celebrates a milestone for Half Moon Cay, and we are extremely
proud of what we have accomplished on the island in collaboration with the
Bahamian government," said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer,
Holland America Line. "Not only has the island become a favorite port of call
for our guests, but we've also been able to positively contribute to the local
economy by providing jobs and tourism income."
Half Moon Cay, located less than 100 miles southeast of Nassau, was
conceived to provide an indigenous Caribbean island experience in an authentic
natural setting to Holland America Line guests on Caribbean and Panama Canal
itineraries. Amenities that were required to support ship visits included food
and beverage facilities, shops, restrooms and other various support
facilities. The island's offerings have steadily expanded to also provide a
full beachside water park for children, private beach cabanas and an array of
shore excursions that include horseback riding by land and sea, personal
watercraft adventures and an opportunity to swim with stingrays.
Although only two percent of Half Moon Cay has been developed (50 out of
2,400 acres), Holland America has successfully fulfilled its goal of
maintaining and enhancing the island's natural beauty. Much of the island is a
migratory bird reserve and, according to Bahamas National Trust surveys, since
Half Moon Cay's inauguration its water fowl population has significantly
increased due to habitat enhancement. The necessary support structures were
designed to be compatible with the island's topography and existing flora;
plantings were selected to compliment existing subtropical foliage.
Half Moon Cay has created nearly 100 full-time, year-round jobs for
Bahamian craftsmen and workers from nearby islands. The island generates more
than $5.5 million in local purchases and wages annually. To date, $23 million
in taxes has been generated for the Bahamas government.
Surveys of Holland America Line guests consistently reveal that the Half
Moon Cay call is cited as the highest-rated port on the Caribbean itineraries,
contributing to the line's endeavor to provide the ultimate premium cruise
experience. In the annual Readers' Choice Awards from Porthole Cruise
Magazine, Half Moon Cay has won six times running for "Best Private Island."
For more information on Half Moon Cay, consult a professional travel
agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.
- http://www.hollandamerica.com -
About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc
(NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 13 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to
more than 320 ports. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents,
including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a
Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska,
Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal.
In the 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers survey by Yesawich,
Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, Holland America Line topped the list of cruise
lines sought after by affluent leisure travelers. Its recently completed $225
million fleetwide Signature of Excellence enhancements added features such as
the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine -- a
state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest
chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes --
Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and
all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top
Mariner's Dream Beds. For more information, consult a travel agent, call
1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.
World's Leading Cruise Lines
The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line
is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also
includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise
Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a
commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of
lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and
enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.
CONTACT: Erik Elvejord, Rose Abello
PHONE: 800-637-5029, 206-301-5318
For further information:
For further information: Erik Elvejord or Rose Abello, both of Holland
America Line, 1-800-637-5029, or +1-206-301-5318, fax, +1-206-262-5934,