Cruise lines have urged Cayman to build a berthing dock for their ships for years and now the companies are offering to build them.
One cruise line submitted a written proposal to the Cayman Islands government in January to develop cruise berthing facilities in George Town and others have also expressed an interest in developing the pier.
The offers mean the government must determine if the proposed deals constitute procurement or if the process is more like a licensing arrangement.
Since Cayman’s procurement processes have come under the spotlight of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Cayman Islands Government is consulting with a financial consultant appointed by the British to look at procurement issues, on whether the written offer from the cruise line is acceptable.
Last year, the FCO stepped in to halt a deal between the Cayman Islands Government and China Harbour Engineering Company to build berthing facilities in Grand Cayman because it had not undergone a tendering process and had not followed the proper procurement process.
The offers from the cruise lines are the latest in a long line of failed efforts to develop berthing facilities in George Town. Since 2003, the Cayman Islands government has negotiated with Misener Marine, Atlantic Star, Dart Enterprises Construction Company, GLF and China Harbour to build a berthing dock.
Mr. Glidden has said that a major advantage of a cruise line getting involved in the development of a berthing dock is that the line would bring a guaranteed number of visitors to Cayman each year for a fixed number of years. “No one else can guarantee what the line can guarantee,” he said.
A contentious issue that has come up in the past with regards to the development of the dock has been who would ultimately own the facility. Mr. Glidden says ownership and operation of the facility would remain with the Cayman Islands government if a cruise line were to build it.
The advantage to the cruise line of building berthing facilities here is that it would have preferential berthing over other cruise lines and would also mean that Cayman becomes an even more attractive cruising destination for tourists as they will no longer have to be transported to shore on board tender boats.
❑ Build a proper berthing facility
❑ Limit cruise ships to certain days
❑ Do away with cruise ships coming to Cayman and focus on stayovers