The Carnival Corporation, the government of St. Maarten, and the Port of St. Maarten have joined forces to build a new two-berth cruise ship pier. Once the pier is completed, St. Maarten will become one of the largest cruise ports in the Caribbean with six total berths for cruise ships.
Carnival will provide nearly $35 million in financing in exchange for preferential berthing rights. The corporation has scheduled eight of its 10 brands to call in St. Maarten. Construction on the new pier will begin this December and will be completed by 2009.
An enlarged port will give more cruisers a chance to visit St. Maarten and provide Carnival’s ships with more itinerary possibilities. On the other hand, St. Maarten may be overrun with tourists if six mega-ships are docked at the island simultaneously. We’ll have to wait until 2009 to see if this new pier is a blessing or a curse for St. Maarten and Caribbean cruisers.