Carnival Announces $100 Million Expansion to Private Destination… Before It’s Even Opened!

Just a few months ago, Carnival announced the name of its new private destination in The Bahamas — Celebration Key.

Expansion of Celebration Key
A new rendering released by Carnival shows a $100 million pier expansion to accommodate four ships at once. Image courtesy of Carnival.

The massive project, already slated to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars will transform a massive stretch of Grand Bahama into a cruiser’s paradise. While more information is still to come, in January the cruise line released details about what passengers can expect.

Carnival shared that it will have five “portals” around the destination to offer something for everyone. This includes adults-only areas, family-friendly spots, and a spot for dining and shopping. Meanwhile, the entire area is anchored by a massive “lagoon” that looks to be one of the largest pools anywhere.

That seems to be just a start. Now, the cruise line has announced that the destination is undergoing an expansion, more than a year before the original planned destination is even set to open.

A $100 Million Pier With the Ability for FOUR Ships at Once

According to a press release, Carnival is now adding a $100 million pier expansion that will allow Celebration Key to welcome four of its largest Excel-class ships at once. Previously, the project had been slated for just one pier with the ability to dock two ships at once.

Now the cruise line says that it projects to welcome nearly 4 million passengers annually — about 11,000 per day — by 2028.

“As is fitting for our plans for Grand Bahama island, our vision for Celebration Key is quite grand, and we’re already thinking about the next phase of expansion and development,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Interestingly, while the cruise line mentions the ability to welcome four of its largest ships at once with the new pier, the per day averages come out to far less. Carnival Jubilee, part of the Excel class, carries 5,282 passengers at double occupancy (with more when completely full). The average of 11,000 passengers per day comes out to roughly two Excel-class ships per day.

Future Expansion Looks Almost Certain to Us

The destination would be able to handle four ships like this one at once. However, to counter the crowds, further expansion of Celebration Key looks likely.

With the announcement of the new pier project, the total price tag of Celebration Key add up to a staggering $600 million, according to the cruise line. However, there is a strong hint that price tag is going to jump even more in the future.

While the next phase of the expansion of the actual destination (not just the pier) wasn’t covered in the press release, the rendering did note “Phase 2 Expansion” with a new area shaded in yellow. This is located adjacent to the current site for Celebration Key.

Carnival also said that “designed specifically for Carnival Cruise Line guests with occupancy growth in mind, the Celebration Key footprint has been carefully planned with expansive spaces and abundant attractions to comfortably host the additional guests expected in 2027.”

In other words, we think that before too long we’ll be hearing about even more projects going on at Celebration Key.

For now, Celebration Key is slated for opening in mid-2025. To read more details about the upcoming destination, see our articles here and here.

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