Engineers have given the green light for the Grand Turk Cruise Center to reopen on 8 October in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Carnival Cruises, which operates the pier, says an engineering survey has found no damage. And the facility’s retail and restaurant complex was reported as virtually unscathed.“We believe we can complete repairs to the cruise center within a 30-day period and bring cruise ships back to Grand Turk,” Giora Israel, Carnival’s vice president of strategic planning and port development, told USA TODAY.
“We will be able to provide many of the wonderful, beach, snorkeling and watersports experiences that Grand Turk is famous for, along with the oversized pool and food and shopping opportunities.”
Developed by Carnival in 2006 but open to other cruise companies, the US$60 million Cruise Center is a 13-acre complex with an 800-foot-long private beach, swimming pool and FlowRider surfing attraction. The pier was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center serves as a gateway to the pristine island of Grand Turk, which is world-renowned as a diving and snorkeling jewel, and also features magnificent beaches, striking aqua-blue waters and a variety of fishing and watersports activities.
Meanwhile the island of Providentiales is rapidly getting back to normal. Its international airport has reopened for business, and more than half of its hotels are fully open and operational, with the remainder opening in October.
Providenciales resorts currently open to guests include The Somerset, The Tuscany, and Club Med all on Grace Bay. The Regent Palms and The Sands, also on Grace Bay, will reopen on 13 September followed by Seven Stars two days later, Parrot Cay on 27 September and Beaches in November.
Grace Bay Club and Turks & Caicos Club will reopen on 1 October after regularly scheduled annual maintenance. Ocean Club Resort, Ocean Club West, Nikki Beach Hotel and Amanyara will reopen in the coming weeks after landscaping cleanup is complete.
Honorable Wayne Garland, executive chairman of the Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board said: “We are fortunate the majority of our tourism infrastructure on Providenciales is intact as no resorts, restaurants or other structures have suffered significant damage. More than 50 percent of our hotels are fully open and operational with the remaining hotels opening in October after they have completed their annual general maintenance.”