Getting cruise travelers to shore when visiting Belize has been a problem for quite some time. Cruise lines are required to use Belize tender operators to make that happen. Not enough of the little boats makes the process take longer than it should. Adding insult to injury, Belize tender operators have a history of raising prices. All that has caused cruise lines to cancel visits to Belize from time to time as no clear solution has been on the table. Until now. Norwegian Cruise Line recently revealed details on its new Western Caribbean destination experience in Belize, Harvest Caye. Of particular interest on the list of Harvest Caye features: the country’s only cruise ship pier which solidly addresses the issue of greedy tender operators.
Opening in November. Harvest Caye‘s cruise ship pier will enable guests to walk off their Norwegian Cruise Line ship, right on to the new dock. They will bypass the bothersome process of tendering from their ship at anchor, making more efficient use of their limited time ashore. Once ashore at the large marina, cruise travelers can depart for a wide variety of shore excursions to explore what really is a wonderful Caribbean destination, including spectacular Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours, some of the best SCUBA diving in the world and more.
“Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways,” -Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Harvest Caye’s pristine beach will be the heart of the destination, featuring white sand and crystal clear waters. Belize tender operators left in the dust, Norwegian passengers can get right to business, enjoying a number of unique features at Harvest Caye:
- Luxury Beach Villas- Rent one of the island’s 11 luxurious beach villas that can accommodate up to 10 guests. Equipped with air conditioning, dedicated lounge and dining areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service, guests may never have to leave the beach.
- Resort-style Pool Area- a tranquil, lushly landscaped pool area is worth getting off the ship to enjoy. The sprawling 15,000 square foot pool features a swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables right in the water, surrounded by elegant lounge chairs and umbrellas. 15 pool cabanas are available for rent, feature upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A footbridge spans the center of the pool, with a soothing waterfall feature below.
- Flighthouse- the 130 foot tall Flighthouse marks 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 mainland Belize. 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. Also included: a challenging but fun ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon.
- Easy Stuff Too- For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye’s shallow lagoon area.
- Landshark Bar & Grill is 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”.
No Free Lunch And That Might Not Be A Bad Thing At All
Unlike many other cruise line private island experiences, buffet lunch is not included ashore. Instead, those who want to indulge in authentic Belizean cuisine will be able to enjoy casual street style dining in the Harvest Caye shopping village which will feature popular name-brand retailers as well as items from local Belizean craftsmen. Targeting specific areas of the Harvest Caye complex, the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill will be serving the beach, Manatee Marina Bar & Grill is located in the marina, and the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill will service the island’s cabanas.
Still, no need to go anywhere specific as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Caye beginning November 2016 on Norwegian’s Western Caribbean cruises, and on Norwegian sister brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, both of which will also offer calls at Harvest Caye on select Caribbean cruises.
For full itinerary details and to book a cruise with Norwegian, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.