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Cayman Brac’s Boutique Cruise Pier Proposal

The notion of a new cruise pier aiming to transform Cayman Brac into a ’boutique destination’ has ignited both optimism for economic growth and cautious inquiries into the scope of “boutique.” Reports from the Cayman Compass shed light on the discourse surrounding this prospective development.

Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan revealed ongoing discussions with leaders in the cruise industry regarding the feasibility of constructing a new pier tailored to smaller cruise vessels. Following a visit by executives from major cruise brands to the Brac in late February, there’s palpable interest in the destination’s potential.

Bryan emphasised community backing for the development of small-scale cruise tourism on the larger of the Sister Islands, stressing the absence of environmental concerns that marred past proposals in George Town harbor.


Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan briefs cruise line representatives during the Brac visit. – Photo: Bryan Cubas photography

The envisioned market targets smaller ships, accommodating 500 to 1,000 passengers, with a potential upper limit of 2,500 in select cases. Bryan, attending the Seatrade Cruise Global event in Miami Beach, noted strong interest from industry leaders, particularly those focused on niche markets.

While the project remains in the exploratory phase, Bryan outlined the necessity of securing commitments for two-to-four cruise calls per week to ensure its viability for businesses. Notably, even without a pier, some cruise brands have expressed willingness to include the Brac in their itineraries.

Premier and Brac MP Juliana O’Connor-Connolly echoed support for the initiative, emphasising its potential to generate job opportunities and bolster the island’s economy, particularly amid concerns about youth migration.

The proposal intersects with entrepreneur Frank Schilling’s Port Zeus project, currently under government review. While not designed to accommodate cruise ships, Port Zeus aims to enhance inter-island and regional tourism through a protected marina and surrounding amenities.


The proposed development in the Port Zeus masterplan. – Image: Port Zeus

Representative Moses Kirkconnell cautiously endorsed the concept, stressing the importance of scale to preserve the island’s charm and infrastructure capacity. He advocated for a limit around 500 passengers, citing logistical constraints.

The Sister Islands Tourism Association expressed interest in participating in further discussions as the concept evolves, emphasizing the importance of consultation with existing operators and the local community.

The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association lauded the potential of Cayman Brac as a new port of call, highlighting ongoing discussions and meetings with government officials.

Minister Bryan emphasised the boutique nature of the proposed development, assuring that it aims to preserve the island’s laid-back ambiance while attracting discerning travelers.

Privately, residents and business owners expressed varied perspectives, with some welcoming the prospect of increased tourism and economic activity, while others urged caution and comprehensive planning to avoid overdevelopment.

In conclusion, while the idea of a boutique cruise pier holds promise for Cayman Brac’s economic growth, it warrants careful consideration, inclusive dialogue, and thorough assessment to ensure alignment with the island’s unique character and sustainable development goals.


Source:Cayman Compass