Holland America Line Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Half Moon Cay
This year, Holland America Line will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay. For 20 years, this private island has been a favorite stop to almost every Holland America Line Caribbean voyages. Back in December 1996, Holland America Line bought the uninhabited island, some 100 miles southeast of Nassau. Today, it is one of the most popular Caribbean ports, and for the most part bird protection area. In the jubilee season 7 of the 14 Holland America Line ships, including the fleet’s latest cruise ship MS Koningsdam, will arrive at the island. This season all cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida will stop at Half Moon Cay.
The island is named after its moon-shaped white sand beach and Henry Hudson's ship, depicted in the Holland America Line logo. Even as the cruise line purchased the island of ten square kilometers, sustainable development played an important role. Only two percent of the area is developed, large parts of the island is a bird protection area. Approximately 100 Bahamians from the neighboring islands are employed on Half Moon Cay.
There are three main areas for cruise ship visitors: Welcome Center, Bahamian Village, and the Tropics Restaurant. A small tram for a maximum of 25 guests connects the "Welcome Center" and the "Tropics Restaurant". In addition, there are three water sports facilities - two are located directly on the beach, another in the lagoon. Additional amenities include 15 air-conditioned beach cabanas, beach massages, a wedding chapel and a five-kilometer jogging track across the island.
In 2016, Half Moon Cay underwent several upgrades such as Sunfish sailboats, Hobie catamarans, Aqua Trax Wave Runners, and Aqua Cycle Trikes. These join paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear and more.
- Photo by Holland America Line