Stop Norwegian Cruise LInes in Southern Belize

The campaign by private interests closely tied to the government of Belize to introduce cruise ships to southern Belize dates back to 2010. At that time a proposal by investors tied to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to establish Placencia as port of call was successfully rebuffed by area residents. Two years later a new version of the same proposal, this time allegedly more “Placencia friendly” was floated to a group of tour guides but was never introduced or debated publicly.

In early 2013 a much larger proposal was made to the government by Norwegian Cruise Line. This project, backed by the same official who pushed the first two, called for NCL to purchase Crawl Caye, an island off the Belize coast where its largest ships could dock and passengers frolic on the beach as well as embark for tours on land and sea. NCL’s total investment was said to be in the range of US$50 million and the cruise line heralded the investment on one that would bring jobs and prosperity to an economically depressed area of the country and significant revenues to a cash strapped government.

While cabinet, under pressure from environmentalists, turned down the proposal for Crawl Caye on the grounds that it was in a marine reserve that formed part of a World Heritage Site, it endorsed the project if a more suitable location could be found. Immediately NCL announced plans to purchase Harvest Caye, a 70 acre island less than 3 miles south of Placencia Village just off the mainland. Following cursory study by a cabinet subcommittee (half of whose ministerial members never showed up for meetings) cabinet agreed to a non-binding memorandum of understanding with NCL that granted the company unprecedented fiscal incentives and tax breaks.

Details of a formal agreement are being drafted while NCL refines plans for its purchase of the island, its dredging and filling as well as construction of its berthing and recreational facilities. It plans to have Harvest Caye ready for action by the 2015/2016 cruise season.
Much more information at

Dear Stakeholder, Government official or Media house - This petition was created in response to the proposed NCL acquisition and future development of Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District, in the hopes that the whole environmental disaster can be brought to an end before our fragile ecosystem can be demolished and devastated.

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