Despite the unprecedented disruption to the cruise industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Cruise Line is pushing ahead with plans to open a second private island cruise destination in the Caribbean.
Disney Cruise Line’s planned second island will compliment the expansion of its fleet, with three Triton-class cruise ships due to be delivered in the coming years, the first of which, Disney Wish, is due for delivery in 2022.
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During at the Credit Suisse 23rd Annual Communications Conference, Bob Chapek, CEO, The Walt Disney Company, said the cruise line is excited about a “second island destination and three new ships.”
Disney Cruise Line announced the private island development in 2019, but during the pandemic in 2020, the lead ‘Imagineer’ working on the project, Joe Rohde, left the company and its future was called into doubt.
The comment by Chapek removes any doubt that the project is going ahead.
According to Disney Cruise Line’s initial announcement of the island project in 2019, it will be called Lighthouse Point and will join Castaway Cay as part of the cruise line’s Caribbean portfolio.
“Lighthouse point will create sustainable economic opportunities for Bahamians, protect and sustain the site’s natural beauty, celebrate culture, and help strengthen the community in Eleuthera,” the cruise line said.
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“The private island will complement Disney’s existing Castaway Cay, a destination located in the Abaco chain of The Bahamas,” the statement added. “The addition allows families to enjoy the site’s beautiful beaches and explore nature, as well as enjoy the broader tourism offerings in Eleuthera.”
Disney Cruise Line is in the midst of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and has developed a 500-page environmental program listing the environmental factors surrounding the building of various attractions on the island.
It has also developed protocols intended to protect the local environment from damage by the many thousands of Disney Cruise Line passengers that will visit the island each year.
A solar farm will be built on-site to ensure a sufficient power supply and in addition to its own animal and conservation experts, Disney has assembled a team of scientists to develop a sustainable environmental program.
The cruise line is spending upwards of US $400-million on the project, and when its complete the island will offer an Adventure Camp, two public beaches, A Spa and Wellness center, Arts and Culture center, Cabanas, and various bars and restaurants across 700 acres.
The 190-acre southern tip of the island will be donated to the Bahamian government and turned into a nature reserve.
Disney Cruise Line has not announced an opening date for the island, but it is likely to closely coincide with the delivery of Disney Wish in summer 2022.