Disney Cruise Line has signed a heads of agreement with the Bahamas for a proposed cruise destination in Eleuthera, to be built on land it acquired from a private seller.
Disney is expected to invest some-where between $250 million and $400 million to complete the project. The deal stipulates that, along with the land purchase, Disney has to increase its calls at Bahamas cruise ports in Nassau and Freeport, ensure a minimum of 120 Bahamians are directly employed during the construction of the project, representing 80% of the workers and when completed, create as many as 150 permanent jobs with benefits in a range of positions for Bahamians.
Disney will also donate approximately 190 acres of the land located at Lighthouse Point on the southern point of the island, appraised at about US$6.29 million, to the government for conservation and a national park.
Under the agreement, space must be provided for Bahamian vendors on the property and Disney must give priority to Bahamian owners and operators to provide port adventures for DCL guests while its ships are in port.
The facility must also provide access to all residents for non-commercial purposes.
The project design must also integrate Bahamian cultural and artistic expression said the government.
In announcing the agreement, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said construction will not begin until the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and approved.
“The Government of The Bahamas is satisfied that it made the best decision in the interest of the Bahamian people, a sustainable future for the people of Central and South Eleuthera and the economic development of the country,” he said.