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Cruise ship makeover brings boost to Grand Bahama

The Grand Princess is undergoing an overhaul at Grand Bahama Shipyard before relaunch next month. The ship's multi-million dollar refit includes several new restaurants and a new nightclub. Pictured is another vessel undergoing dry dock procedures at the shipyard. 

Friday, April 29, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011

One of the region’s longest serving cruise ships, The Grand Princess, is providing a financial boost not only to the Bahamian tourism industry, but also the economy of Grand Bahama as it undergoes extensive refitting work at Freeport Shipyard’s dry dock.

The Grand Princess, which was first launched by Princess Cruises in 1998 and can carry up to 2,590 passengers, is preparing for a relaunch on May 5, when it will sail to Fort Lauderdale. Before that journey, additional facilities and an upgrade will be completed. New amenities include a tea lounge and library, a martini lounge, several new restaurants and a new nightclub. In addition, the ship’s casino, Lotus Spa, wedding chapel, shopping boutiques and art gallery will all be remodelled. 

Throughout the ship’s multi-million dollar refit, Princess Cruises is posting a series of online videos chronicling the vessel’s transformation. One of the most recent video entries featured several scenes from Grand Bahama as crew members took a break to visit the Port Lucaya Marketplace and the Freeport Rugby Club.

Princess Cruises operates a number of tours throughout the Caribbean region and stops in The Bahamas at Princess Cays–a company owned 40-acre resort on the Southern tip of Eleuthera. 

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, cruise ship arrivals grew by more than 18 per cent in 2010 and stop-over numbers increased 5 per cent. 

Bank and trust company SG Hambros has been doing business in the jurisdiction for 75 years this year, according to managing director Dorothy Hilton. The MD says 2010 was a strong year and she remains optimistic about 2011.

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture representative calls for a combined effort in developing agriculture in The Bahamas. Grand Bahama offers perfect opportunity for growth in the sector.

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