Grand Cayman is in talks to have a cruise line build a pier for them so passengers will no longer have to tender into Georgetown.

But would it work in Bermuda?

What would the benefits or disadvantages in having one of the lines doing something similar in St George’s along the North Shore?

Carl Paiva, CEO of C-Travel, said there would be a trade-off if one of the cruise lines stepped in and built a pier in St George’s.

“If they are building a port, they are not doing it out of love. They’re doing it to being guaranteed a place at the pier and getting revenues from the port in any way, shape or form.”

Mr Paiva said it is common when the cruise line builds a pier, they also get to build and operate shops around the pier as a way to help make revenue back from the pier expense.

He said: “That would be a very sad day in Bermuda. If anyone was going to build it, I would like to see Bermuda build it so we keep our controls and don’t sell our soul.”

A shipping source told the Bermuda Sun one of the major advantages of having a  cruise line build a St George’s pier is that “it wouldn’t be coming out of the taxpayers’ pockets.


“The disadvantage of it, and I know this happens in certain ports down the south, they have the dibs on the dock. If another cruise line is on the dock and weather related issues cause it to bypass another destination and go into the dock, they can kick off another ship as they can say ‘get off the dock. We built this dock.’”

The shipping expert said both Carnival and Royal Caribbean have built docks in other locations and get extra revenue from the shops near the pier.

“Royal Caribbean did the same thing in Falmouth (Jamaica) where they built up Falmouth near the pier area and you can use your onboard cards in those shops.”

 “If they built the dock and then they built their own shops, that would not entice the guest to go into St George’s because they can get everything on the pier.”

The expert said there are pros and cons to both sides so it would depend on what was viewed as more important.

A travel industry source told the Bermuda Sun said there is a definite advantage in that Bermuda could handle more cruise ships and St George’s could end up with a dedicated ship.

The source said the flip side is that cruise lines don’t “build these things out of the generosity of their hearts. They are going to want something out of it like being able to make additional revenue through owning some shops right there at the pier.

“That probably wouldn’t play well with the business owners in St George’s. I really couldn’t see that happening if that was part of the deal.”