|Carnival’s Amber Cove to Open in October|
Carnival Corp. will open its $85 million Amber Cove cruise center in the Dominican Republic in October, giving its passengers access to a purpose-built facility with a welcome center, craft marketplace, eateries and bars, a swimming pool, and transportation hub.
Located near the historic town of Puerto Plata, the arrival of the Carnival Victory on Oct. 6 will mark the return of regularly scheduled cruise ship calls on the Amber Coast in nearly 30 years.
The new port also will anchor new central Caribbean itineraries — along with Grand Turk Cruise Center, only 100 miles to the north — and likely will figure into new itineraries that feature potential stops in Cuba, the company said in a news release.Six Carnival Corp. brands will call on Amber Cove, which is near a filming location for parts of the original “Jurassic Park” movie. The facility will feature a two-berth port able to accommodate the largest cruise vessels operating today.
Carnival Corp. has monitored construction progress by using drones for the first time. The facility, a joint project between Carnival Corp. and the Rannik family of Grupo B&R, is expected to host more than 250,000 cruise passengers in its first year. It will provide approximately 430 local jobs.
“There are several markets that are becoming increasingly important to the cruise industry, but today the Caribbean is the single largest share of our business,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corp.
Amber Cove creates a new destination in the Caribbean, which is important since more than 60 percent of cruisers are repeat passengers and might be attracted to sail again to new places.
“The construction of the cruise port at Amber Cove has been an incredible project for our entire country, as well as the Caribbean region as a whole,” said Francisco Javier, tourism director of the Dominican Republic. “Carnival Corporation’s investment in Amber Cove has already proven beneficial to the economy, and we expect the investment to have a positive long-lasting economic impact.”
So far, 13 Carnival Corp. ships from six brands will make 57 calls between October 2015 and April 2016, accounting for more than 155,000 guests during this period.
Following the Carnival Victory’s inaugural visit, other ships scheduling calls to Amber Cove include Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 on Nov. 22, P&O Cruises’ (UK) Azura on Dec. 5, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAvita on Dec. 11, Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa on Dec. 31 and Holland America Line’s Eurodam on Jan. 19.
The Amber Cove port is located on the Dominican Republic’s North Coast just outside Puerto Plata, which was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the 1490s and was recently named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the “Best Places to Travel in 2015.”