HALF MOON CAY,
Bahamas -- Holland America Lines private port of call here just got
As part of the
lines $225 million Signature of Excellence upgrades, Half Moon Cay,
the lines 2,400-acre island, was on the receiving end of several
The new Half Moon
Lagoon water park opened on the main beach with three water slides
for young children.
Just offshore in
the shallow sea, a cluster of floating toy animals -- including a
crocodile, shark and octopus -- are tethered to the seafloor and
are perfect for climbing.
vice president of Caribbean relations at HAL and the lines Half
Moon guru, said three more slides for teens will be added this
on the beach are new massage huts and air-conditioned cabanas
available for rent.
is accessible via a short tram ride from the main beach area. The
tour uses two dozen quarter horses that were brought to the island
from Jamaica earlier this year.
The $59 tour
includes a scenic trail ride along the islands highest ridge,
followed by a 15- to 20-minute trek through the surf.
A new stingray
excursion, markedly different from the mass tourism approach
visitors experience at Grand Caymans Stingray City, permits a
maximum of 38 guests at a time ($39 per person) to mingle with 26
stingrays corralled in a 150-by-75-square-foot lagoon
Theres also a
guided, one-hour Jet Ski tour ($59 per person) in a saltwater
lagoon far removed from the main beach.
can be booked prior to cruise departures at www.hollandamerica.com.
In response to
Half Moons popularity, Sams said Holland America is considering
seven-day itineraries with two visits to the island.
Moon Cay experienced some foliage damage from Hurricane Ivan last
fall, new plantings already are flourishing and the islands beaches
have been restored.
When two ships
call on the same day -- Sams reported that happened 13 times in
2004 -- more beach chairs are brought out, additional trams run and
lunch times are extended.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].