|Its all about ships
HALF MOON CAY
PHOTO TOUR AND
Stein Kruse, President and CEO of Holland America Line
has written that Half Moon Cay "is without a doubt the most
popular destination that Holland America goes to, and the
highest rated and arguably the best private island in the
Caribbean in the cruise industry." (quoted in Dickinson and
Vladmir, Selling the Seas (2d ed 2008) at 180). Considering
that HAL goes over the world, Mr. Kruse's statement
underscores just how successful Half Moon Cay has been
with cruise ship guests.
Half Moon Cay is one of 700 islands in the Bahamas. It
is located between Eleuthera and Cat Island and is
approximately 100 miles south of Nassau.
In 1997, Holland America purchased the island then
called Little San Salvador for $6 million. Of the island's 2,400
acres only about 50 have been developed. According to HAL
"The main goal is to maintain as much habitat as possible for
wildlife, especially the waterfowl as the island is a significant
The island acts as a port of call for Holland America
ships and for ships of its sister company Carnival Cruise
Lines. Typically, the ships arrive early in the morning and
leave by nightfall. The majority of the food and supplies that
will be used during the call are brought ashore from the ship.
Similarly, the ship's crew does the cooking and performs
many of the other services provided to guests on th island.
The primary attraction for most guests is the nine-mile
long white sand beach. However, the island also has
numerous other facilities and activities that guests can indulge
in either on their own as part of organized excursions.
One surprising structure on this uninhabited island is a small
but attractive Bahamian Church. It can be used for
renewals of vows and weddings.
Most of the island is a bird sanctuary and so it is not unusual to
see birds even in the developed part of the island.
The resort portion of Half Moon Cay straddles the
island. On one side is the beach area (above). On the
other is the less developed Bone Fish Lagoon (below).
Cruise ships calling at Half Moon Cay do not dock.
Instead, guests access the island via tenders.
After leaving the tenders, guests walk through a gate into the
Welcome Center, Designed to resemble an idealized
Bahamian Village, the center consists of a number of buildings
surrounding a plaza. The buildings house the information
booth, a bar, an ice cream stand, the gift shop and the straw
market. Guests can have their hair braided or purchase
The tenders arrive and depart from docks in the tender marina (above).
The tenders bring both guests and supplies to the island (below).
Cruise ship port photo tour - - Half Moon Cay - - Holland America- Carnival Cruise Lines - - page 1
Covered trucks with benches take guests to various
points on the island from the Tram Station at the
Also near the Welcome Center is the Helipad.