Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands government has selected the company to build its new cruise ship berth.

The Verdant Isle Group has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the estimated $240 million project. Verdant Isle includes Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises as well as a number of local companies, according to Cruise Industry News.

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But despite the two major cruise lines having a financial stake in the construction, neither will have a monopoly on the facility.

Caymans Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said in a statement that the new port will “instead (be) one that will be managed and owned by the Port Authority on behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands.”

The project will be funded by Carnival, Royal Caribbean and FirstCaribbean International Bank.

“This is a moment that the majority of the people in our Islands have been aiming to get to for at least 20 years if not longer,” McLaughlin said in a statement. “Certainly, every Government elected since 2000 has had promises of a cruise port in their election manifesto or as part of their delivery plans.”

A referendum among the citizens of the Cayman Islands still needs to be held, and according to local reports, the issue is a hot topic on the island.

To also help pay for the port, the passenger fee for cruise guests will increase to $8.