Four years in development and delayed eight months in opening, Norwegian Cruise Line has finally taken the covers off its brand new fully customised resort-style Caribbean island destination in Harvest Caye, located just off the coast of Belize, in the country’s south.
Joined by the guests onboard Norwegian Dawn, which sailed in from New Orleans and became the first of the brand’s ships to visit the new destination, the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place in the company of cruise line executives and senior dignitaries from the government of Belize, who all welcomed guests from onboard to shore.
The design of the island has allowed for Norwegian Cruise Line to develop a full dock at the side of the island for ships to directly pull up alongside, meaning no tendering is required to transfer guests from the ship to the island. Only one ship is scheduled to visit per day.
Central to the island experience is a seven-acre beach, littered with chaise lounge chairs which guests can enjoy for their day onshore. A number of clam shell tents are also set up on a first-come-first-served basis, while those keen for a step up in luxury can also pre-book their day occupying one (or more) of 11 luxury beach villas.
Each of these is able to house 10 people and features a porch overlooking the Caribbean Sea, with luxuries including indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, lounge area, exclusive dining options with concierge service.
In the centre is an enormous swimming pool with swim-up pool bar with semi-submerged tables and stools and a central footbridge leading to a waterfall. This is also surrounded by lounge chairs and pool cabanas which can also be rented out. A marina with boats and other water craft which can be rented for the day is also available on another side of the island.
Many of Norwegian Cruise Line’s onboard dining venues have been expanded to land on Harvest Caye, with visitors able to dine at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, a two-storey LandShark Bar & Grill, authentic Belizean street-style casual dining and individual beach bar & grill options at the beach, another at the marina and one exclusively serving guests who have rented the cabanas and villa.
Built around a 40 metre tall lighthouse also is a myriad of adventure and thrill-seeking games and activities for those less enthusiastic about sitting still for the day. These include over 900 metres of zip lines including one line which traverses the entire island from above and another which allows you to fly like Superman. On top of that are numerous suspension bridges, free fall jumps and a ropes course.
More serene water-based activities are also offered including kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing, with plenty of marine life to observe from above too.
Speaking of wildlife, there is an Aviary where guests can learn more about macaws and toucans, the Belize national bird. There’s a butterfly garden and boa constrictor snake viewing area, or a manatee observation tour available in the lagoon. Plenty of other wildlife is on display in a specially planted mangrove area designed to improve the island eco-system.
Guests are not just confined to Harvest Caye during their visit, with opportunities to head onto the mainland on organised shore excursions such as trips to view ancient Mayan ruins, go river rafting, take a nature walk or more.
Check out the variety of activities available at Harvest Caye via this newly released video.