Cruise port will cost $200 million

Cayman’s cruise and cargo port will cost just under CI$200 million to build, government revealed Monday as it formally announced the Verdant Isle group as the preferred bidder for the project.

The group, which comprises cruise companies Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean as well as local construction companies McAlpine and Orion Marine, will fund the project through capital from the two cruise lines and a loan from FirstCaribbean International Bank.

In return, they will be allowed to levy a passenger fee of around US$8-per-head for every cruise visitor to the islands. That charge will come from a mix of the cash that currently goes to the tender operators and a small share of the government head tax.