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Carnival doubling berths to four at Celebration Key in what's now $600m project

With the pier expansion, Celebration Key will have the berth capacity to host up to four Excel-class ships simultaneously in 2026
Celebration Key, Carnival Cruise Line's new private Bahamas destination, will be getting two additional berths, for a total of four, in a $100m expansion for what is now a $600m project.

The destination is scheduled to open on Grand Bahama island in summer of 2025 with two berths, with the second two-berth pier to come online in 2026.

Four Excel-class ships simultaneously

This will make it possible for Celebration Key to host up to four Excel-class ships simultaneously.

With this, the destination is projected to welcome nearly 4m passengers annually by 2028.

Breathtaking volume for a brand-new destination

It is a breathtaking number for a brand-new port, and clearly Carnival Corp. & plc is taking into account the success and appeal of Royal Caribbean Group's Perfect Day at CocoCay by moving forward so fast.

The project is the largest of its kind ever undertaken by Carnival Corp. & plc.

First four-berth private cruise line destination

It is the first four-berth private cruise line destination. 

And it closely follows the order for a fifth Excel-class ship for the Carnival brand but also The Bahamas' controversial short-notice decision to apply VAT to the pre-sale of excursions and to food provided as part of the cruise fsre at cruise line private islands.

'Building the second pier now allows us to implement growth plans and build itineraries with certainty, and signals to the local community just how important this development is to Carnival Cruise Line and the future of the island,' Carnival President Christine Duffy said.

'Momentous day for Grand Bahama'

The pier expansion was announced Thursday by Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister/Tourism Minister Chester Cooper at the 25th Annual Grand Bahama Business Outlook.

'This is a momentous day for Grand Bahama and bodes extremely well for its future,' Cooper said, adding that the 'incredible level of new investment on the pier extension highlights the partnership between The Bahamas and Carnival Corporation and demonstrates the popularity of The Bahamas as a destination.

'Celebration Key will play a vital role in supporting the future prosperity of Grand Bahama and the country at large,' he said.

Economic impact

The initial phase with the original two berths is projected to help generate more than 700 permanent jobs in the community, including approximately 300 Bahamians hired directly by Carnival Corp. to help welcome 2.2m cruisers each year to Grand Bahama starting in 2025.

According to a study by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, over the next two decades the project is expected to drive substantial growth in Bahamian employment, GDP and government revenue. The study estimated the development, construction and ongoing operation of Celebration Key will create more than 2,500 direct Bahamian jobs, generate $3.2b in incremental revenue for the government and contribute $9.7b in incremental GDP.