Get ready to go bananas, Cruise News readers: Development of a shiny new cruise port at Hondurass Banana Coast has officially broken ground. Cruisers looking to escape on more exotic Western Caribbean itineraries in 2012 will be delighted to discover new off-the-path cruise ports cropping up, including the Banana Coast port (its name derives from the banana trade industry that flourished here in the early 20th century), set on a 10-acre beachfront site in Trujillo, Honduras (we also reported on a new port planned in El Salvador for 2012 just last month). While the lush island of Roatan, set some 45 miles north of Trujillo, has seen considerable success embedding itself on widespread cruise itineraries, this is only the second cruise port attempt in the country, and a foray into the comparatively untrammeled northern coast of mainland Honduras.
All of the requisite port-side amenities (duty-free jewelry shopping, an artisans market, and a themed bar and eatery) will be in place, but the real draw will be the pristine natural attractions, with the regions mountains, tropical rain forest, and beaches primed for eco-excursions like snorkeling, fishing, wildlife viewing (monkeys and pink flamingos count among the local residents), and more. Cultural buffs may also consider exploring the colonial town of Trujillo itself, an enclave of 30,000 founded by Spanish conquistadors on the tail of Columbus in the early 16th century: Its historic fort, plaza, and church make for pleasant backdrops.
Slated for completion in late 2012, the port will have a dock capable of handling two large ships, and is being developed by OBM International, the same architectural and design firm responsible for Royal Caribbeans private Bahamian island of CocoCay, as well as Carnivals Grand Turk Cruise Center in Turks & Caicos. No cruise lines have yet announced plans to call upon the Banana Coast, but well be back to you with updates as they are released. For more information about the port, visit www.bananacoast.com.
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