Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private port in Belize, will have beach villas, a large pool area with cabanas, a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, water sports in the lagoon, wildlife programs and a shopping village.
The cruise line on Wednesday revealed details about the port and recreational area it is building on two adjoining islands off the coast of Belize City. Harvest Caye, originally scheduled to open in mid-February, is now scheduled to open in November.
The islands will have a cruise ship pier so that passengers can walk off the ship and onto land and won’t have to be tendered. It will also have a large marina, the departure point for certain shore excursions.
“Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways. Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president
“Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer.
It also will have a variety of places to eat, although all will cost extra, unlike most cruise lines’ private islands and beaches — including Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas — where dining is complimentary. Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival/Holland America include dining on their private islands and beaches in the cruise fare.
Guests at Harvest Caye have the option of returning to the ship for meals that don’t cost extra, a spokesperson said.
The port will have five dining options, all of which will cost extra.
Harvest Caye’s amenities will include:
▪ A seven-acre beach that Norwegian calls “the heart of the destination.” It will have 11 enclosed “beach villas” with air conditioning, private restroom, hammocks, indoor and outdoor showers, exclusive dining options and concierge services. The villas, available for rent, can accommodate up to 10 guests.
▪ A 15,000-square-foot pool with lush landscaping, swim-up bar, a footbridge and waterfall near the center of the pool, lounge chairs, umbrellas and 15 cabanas available for rent.
▪ A 130-foot tall “Flighthouse” as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, a tandem “superman” style zip line and a ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. Kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing will be offered in the lagoon.
▪ Eco-activities and facilities including manatee observation tours, an aviary (with a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws), butterfly garden and educational center.
▪ Shore excursions that will include Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more, some of them on the mainland.
▪ Five dining and bar outlets including a two-story Landshark Bar & Grill (with swim-up pool bar) that is an expansion of Norwegian’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Other a la carte dining options: casual street-style dining in the shopping village, the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill on the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, and the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill by the pool.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ sister brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises will also call at Harvest Caye on select Caribbean sailings.
Norwegian announced in January that the opening of Harvest Caye, then scheduled for mid-February, would be delayed until November. At least six of the line’s ships had to change their itineraries, although most will simply go to Belize City instead. No specific reason was given, other than a comment that “We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality amenities and services to our guests in one of the richest ecosystems in the region.”
The delay was announced just before a judge ruled in a lawsuit filed in Belize that the Belizean government had taken improper shortcuts in its environmental review of the project in order to hasten development of Harvest Caye. The ruling did not stop work on the port.