belize cruise ship

There is big news in Belize’s tourism sector today, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced it is scaling back its stops in Belize this year by 14 boats. This is not a huge number considering Belize receives 350 stops per year between all the various cruise ship lines, but it is significant as the first cutting back in stops by a cruise ship line. The tourism sector is worried that more may follow from other companies.

The reason for the decrease in visits is Carnival complains that Belize does not offer enough quality experiences for cruise ship passengers, and that it is enormously expensive for the company and its passengers to do anything in Belize. The tours offered to its guests are actually doing well and passengers do rate them highly, but they are unusually expensive when compared to activities at other destinations. But the main complaint is that for passengers not wanting an expensive tour, Belize City itself just has little to offer and does not live up to the standards experienced at other ports of call. And the government of Belize has failed to act on the numerous complaints and requests by Carnival to upgrade its facilities, primarily by building a real docking facility rather than relying on expensive shuttle boats to transport guests to land.

Additionally, Norwegian Cruise Lines, one the biggest companies that stop in Belize, will soon have their own private port of call facility ready at Harvest Caye in southern Belize. This will further cut back on the number of ships stopping at Belize City, and will greatly affect the tourism commerce in this area.

belize cruise ships

With two new cruise ship port projects getting off the ground in Belize, and a resulting increase in cruise ship visitation on the horizon,  private island resorts will increasingly become a premium location in the country. If you’re looking to get away from the hordes, that is.

More Belize Cruise Ships

For the horde lovers, the news, announced last Friday at a Belize City Biltmore Hotel press conference and covered in The Amandala, is that Royal Caribbean is set to begin construction on a $100 million deep-water port for Belize cruise ships bound for Belize City. That follows hot on the heels of the announcement Aug. 22 in The Royal Gazette that Norwegian Cruise Line will soon begin construction of a $50 million island port for Belize cruise ships just off Placencia in the southern half of the country.

Both projects are in reaction to long-standing problems that cruise lines have had in Belize owing to its lack of ports capable of handling the mammoth ships that can carry from 2,000 to over 6,000 passengers. Until now, they’ve gotten along by anchoring out away from shore and having local tenders come along side to ferry passengers to shore.

But with the advent of not just one but two new dock-side ports, the number of cruise ships calling on Belize will definitely increase. Perhaps massively so. And that means the little hordes that the cruise ships have been disgorging into the center of Belize will now become huge hordes, and no longer confined to Belize City and environs, they’ll be in every section of the country. – Good news for horde lovers. Bad news for horde haters.

Some good news for horde haters

urban massesIf, like me, you prefer your vacation as a respite from the stress and confusion of the urban masses, then finding quiet, private get-a-ways like our tiny island eco-resort is now more relevant than ever. The good news is there are still a few locations that are insulated from the hordes, and none better than our resort on Long Caye.

Our Adventure Island eco-resort maxes out at 34 guests, and it’s actually very rare that we fill our space. Most weeks there are significantly fewer.

Long Caye at Glover's ReefAlso, there is the added fact that Long Caye is 35 miles off the coast, one of only four small islands on the outer edge of 36-square mile Glover’s Reef. That means there will be zero boat loads or bus loads of people arriving to disturb your tropical bliss. The only way to arrive on our privately owned island, Long Caye, is by booking a trip with us. There is no public transportation to the island.

When you’re on Adventure Island, the rest of the world is far, far away.