(1:45 p.m. EDT) — Norwegian Cruise Line’s new private island port in Belize, Harvest Caye, will have its own cruise ship port, making it the only port in the Central American country where passengers will walk off the ship rather than tender to land. The port will also boast a seven-acre sand beach, 15,000-square-foot pool, zip lining, suspensions bridges and free fall jumps, and five dining and beverage venues.
Passengers seeking an exclusive beach experience can rent one of the Harvest Caye’s 11 beach villas, each of which can accommodate up to 10 people. The villas are equipped with air conditioning, a dedicated lounge and dining room, a private bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so passengers never have to leave the beach to get food or a drink.
For those who prefer pool fun to beach fun, Harvest Caye will offer a 15,000-square-foot pool featuring swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables in the water. The pool will be encircled by lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas available for rent. In the cabanas, you’ll find upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service.
Water sports will also be on offer, with kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing all available in the Caye’s shallow lagoon. Jet skiing will not be offered as the line felt it was not environmentally friendly enough for the area, where manatees are prevalent.
An onsite marina will offer catamaran excursions to destinations in southern Belize. Excursion options will include trips to a Mayan temple, a tour of mangrove estuaries, rainforest river tubing and jungle river rafting.
Harvest Caye will be about more than just sun and sand; adventure is on the menu as well.
"We have one or two things that will get the heart racing in the spirit of our brand," Andy Stuart, president and COO for Norwegian Cruise Line, told journalists at a Seatrade conference press conference.
At the center of the adventures will be the 130-foot-tall Flighthouse (a lighthouse-like structure), a central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, and a tandem "superman" style zip line. The zip line course will have more than 3,000 feet of zip line with stops at three different platforms. A ropes course will be located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. All will cost extra to use.
The port will also offer passengers several opportunities to learn more about the local flora and fauna. Options will include manatee observation tours at the lagoon, an up-and-close encounter with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans in the island’s aviary or a variety of butterflies in the Butterfly Garden, and an educational presentation on the country’s indigenous reptiles such as boa constrictors at the educational center. All environmental and conservation-related activities will be free.
Harvest Caye will feature five dining and bar outlets, available a la carte to passengers. Among the choices will be a two-story indoor/outdoor Landshark Bar & Grill, an expansion of the line’s partnership with Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, where people will find a scenic upper deck to sip drinks on and a swim-up pool bar for those who don’t want to leave the water.
Passengers seeking to try Belizean cuisine can dine at the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill, the Manatee Bar & Grill or the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill.
For those who can’t go a day without shopping, there will be a shopping village, which will feature popular name-brand retailers, as well as local Belizean crafts.
"There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven-acre beach and watersports to interactive wildlife programs," Stuart said. "Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors."
Harvest Caye opens to Norwegian Cruise Line passengers sailing on the line’s Western Caribbean itineraries starting November 2016. After Harvest Caye opens, Norwegian Cruise Line will begin an overhaul of its private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.