Harvest Caye, the Caribbean's Premier Resort-Style Port of Call, Welcomes First Guests
New destination in Southern Belize features Belize’s only cruise ship pier; expansive seven acre white sand beach; 15,000 sq. ft. pool with swim up bar; multiple dining options including LandShark Bar & Grill; nature center and wildlife experiences; plus unforgettable adventure tours
Harvest Caye, Belize - Nov 17, 2016
Harvest Caye, the highly-anticipated Caribbean destination experience in beautiful Southern Belize, today welcomed its first guests. Located just one mile offshore, Harvest Caye offers Caribbean travelers an authentic Belizean experience that highlights the country’s beauty and nature, along with resort-style amenities including a sprawling pool and private luxury beach villas; a variety of eco-activities and interactive wildlife programs; and an exhilarating cross-island zip line. With its close proximity to the mainland, Harvest Caye also offers guests easy access to a wide variety of adventure excursions. This spectacular resort-style port of call, developed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., is the ultimate tropical destination experience and the only port in Belize that features a cruise ship pier for guest convenience and comfort.
The Harvest Caye experience was designed to showcase all that Belize is known for, from native plants and trees that all play a part in the destination’s eco-system, to the indigenous hardwoods used in the destination’s buildings, and the warm and welcoming Belizean team members who greet guests upon arrival.
"Harvest Caye is truly the ultimate Belizean experience and we are delighted to welcome our first guests today," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "We have worked closely with the government of Belize to ensure that that this spectacular destination was authentic for our guests, provided economic opportunities for the local community and preserved and protected Belize's incredible natural beauty. We're overjoyed with the results of this four year development project, and we look forward to seeing Harvest Caye and Southern Belize grow as we delight the many guests that will call on the destination."
Guests onboard Norwegian Dawn, sailing from New Orleans, today were the very first to experience all that Harvest Caye has to offer, stepping off the ship and right into paradise. Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH led a ribbon cutting ceremony and official grand opening, where he was joined by the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize, Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize, and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
"Today is the product of the government's continued pledge to entrench tourism as a top national priority and to promote tourism as a main engine for overall economic growth of the country. This investment alone is projected to generate 500 direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs by the year 2020," said Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize. "We have embarked on an unprecedented and incomparable journey. The growth in cruise tourism over the past 20 years proves that Belize is a destination of choice for those seeking adventure, a host of natural wonders, and most importantly friendly and hospit able people. Today, we say to cruise guests, “Welcome to Southern Belize.’”
(Photo L to R: Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH; Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize; Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize)
About Harvest Caye
Harvest Caye's seven acre pristine beach is the highlight of this unique destination, showcasing Belize's stunning white powder sand and crystal clear waters. Guests can enjoy the day on chaise loungers, relax in clamshell tents or indulge in privacy at one of the island's 11 luxury beach villas, available for daily rental. These indulgent enclosed villas are the ultimate beach escape and feature an expansive porch overlooking the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. Each villa can accommodate up to 10 guests and come complete with every comfort including air conditioning, dedicated lounge areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so guests never have to leave the beach.
Guests visiting Harvest Caye can also opt for a resort-style retreat at the destination's tranquil, lushly landscaped pool. The sprawling 15,000 square foot pool includes a footbridge spanning the pool's center that features a soothing waterfall, and is surrounded by elegant lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas. The plush pool cabanas, available for rent, feature upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables right in the water completes the resort experience.
Adventure will be in no short supply for guests who opt to spend their day on Harvest Caye, with the island featuring a 130 foot tall Flighthouse as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, a tandem "superman" style zip line and stunning views of the verdant hills of the mainland. Harvest Caye's zip line course will have more than 3,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests to soar through the air with a bird's eye view of the island and the sea, with stops at three different platforms. To top off the adventure, the Flighthouse will include a challenging but fun ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy eco-activities and watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye's shallow lagoon area, where wildlife is abundant.
Harvest Caye also features a variety of dining and bar options, available à la carte. Guests will enjoy five dining and bar outlets that feature a variety of cuisines, including a two-story indoor/outdoor LandShark Bar & Grill. An expansion of Norwegian's partnership with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville®, the LandShark Bar & Grill is sure to be an island favorite, with a scenic upper deck and a swim-up pool bar for the ultimate way to enjoy a "boat drink". Those who want to indulge in authentic Belizean cuisine can enjoy casual street style dining in the shopping village. Additional dining options include the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill serving the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill servicing the island's cabanas as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.
No port-of-call would be complete without superior shopping options, and Harvest Caye will offer a shopping village; inspired by an outdoor art festival the village features high-quality local retailers offering items like locally made chocolates, spirits, beautiful artwork including the area's signature wood carvings and more, along with street carts featuring local Belizean favorites including ice cream, grilled skewers and artisan crafts. As guests stroll through the shopping village they'll also have the opportunity to enjoy performances from local musicians and folk dancers.
Guests with an affinity for wildlife will marvel at Harvest Caye's many opportunities for an up close encounter with this rich eco-destination's local plants and animals. To learn about the native flora and fauna in this stunning destination, guests can participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon to learn about the gentle giants; get up close and personal with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize's national bird, in the island's Aviary; wonder at the striking beauty of insects at the Butterfly Garden; and learn more about and view Belize's indigenous reptiles like the boa constrictor.
Harvest Caye's conservation programs and education efforts were developed by award winning author and wildlife expert Tony Garel, the destination's Chief Naturalist. He will lead many of the island's educational tours and will be available to chat with guests about the incredible array of wildlife in Belize. The island's aviary will also house a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws, in an effort to increase the population of the native birds. To help further the island's conservation efforts, more than 15,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island, serving to increase the natural estuary system that serves as a critical habitat for birds, young fish and other marine species.
Harvest Caye also serves as a gateway to spectacular eco and cultural adventures that await in mainland Belize. The destination's marina, located near the pier, serves as a convenient departure point for a wide variety of shore excursions that allow guests to explore this rich destination, including spectacular Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more. When guests arrive on the mainland at the Malacate transportation hub, they are immediately immersed in Belizean culture with local vegetation and flora mimicking that of a traditional Belize plantation.