Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Plata on one of his journeys to the ‘new world’ and named the first settlement established in the Americas, Isabela. In the 16th Century, the first fort was constructed and the port became a stop for European traders.
In recent years, Puerto Plata has been a popular holiday destination with many fabulous beach resorts. A huge makeover is about to begin in the resort town and the cruise industry is about to get involved with a port in the northern region on the Dominican Republic.
Carnival Corporation have invested $85 million in the development of the new port called Amber Cove. The region may look familiar as its rural and jungle like terrain was used in a few scenes in the film Jurassic Park.
Francisco Javier, tourism director of the Dominican Republic stated, “Carnival Corporation’s investment in Amber Cove has already proven beneficial to the economy, and we expect the investment to have a positive long lasting economic impact.”
This project is destined to be a success story for both the cruise industry and the Dominican Republic. The new two-berth port will be able to moor the largest vessels in operation today.
There’s bound to be plenty to offer in the way of interest to the cruise passenger once they arrive at Amber Cove Port. Below is a sampling of what will be available.
Since this is the Amber Coast, amber is naturally the highlight of the region. Obtain a close up look at the Dominican Republic’s adored amber in downtown Puerto Plata. The museum holds thousands of specimens and is housed in a Victorian mansion. Some of the pieces were formed around 25 to 40 million years ago from the sap of trees.
For those seeking adventure and being out in amongst the nature, just a half hour away from port is the striking landscape of the “Cordillera Central” (mountain range). All told there are the 27 Waterfalls in Damajagua. The falls pinnacles are 43 feet, falling in pools and are part of a protected area of the Dominican Republic.
MOUNT ISABEL DE TORRES
Mount Isabel de Torres offers spectacular views of the city below. At the base of mountain, there is a cable car whisking visitors to its summit. Upon disembarking the car, a statue of Christ, a botanical garden and open views greet tourists and cruise passengers on an excursion. For those with a good pair of walking shoes, there’s an option of taking the cable car up and walking back down.
There are many things to take part in that are away from the beach yet still related to the sea. Ocean World is a marine park where you can not only observe the animal life but interact with marine animals. Its aquarium features marine life from all over the world. Interactive programs, such as swimming with the dolphins and will create an all encompassing memory of your visit to Amber Cove.
To know the real Dominican Republic is to get out and explore. Take a full day tour on an outdoor safari which will visit some of the best off the beaten path areas. You can also take an excursion in a 4 wheel drive vehicle from the port. The guide will inform you about the plants and wildlife such as crocodiles and iguanas. There will also be some visits to coffee and chocolate plantations too.
The anticipation of a new destination for cruise passengers at Amber Cove port is not exclusive to Carnival’s fleet alone. Even though many of their vessels, with the first being the Carnival Victory in October 6th, will make Amber Cove a port of call, other cruise lines will do so as well.
The port has been confirmed for Cunards’ Queen Mary 2 on November 22, P&O Cruises’ Azura on December 5, Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa on December 31 and Holland Americas’ ms Eurodam on January 19, 2016.
Several other cruise lines are looking to rework this new port into their itineraries later this year and definitely for 2016.
Written by Veronica Shine