Groundbreaking has taken place for Banana Coast, Honduras' first mainland cruise port.

Banana Coast will be in the colonial town of Trujillo, 45 miles south of Roatan, the Honduran island that is a popular stop on Caribbean cruises.

The Banana Coast port complex will include a 50,000-square-foot commercial center with restaurants, boutiques and excursion offices.

The $20 million project is headed by Grande Trujillo Autoridad, a public-private partnership between the city of Trujillo and developers.

The cruise port is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs during construction and beyond, according to Grande Trujillo Autoridad board member Randy Jorgensen.

The port will be able to handle any size ship as long as it is willing to anchor and tender. Initially, the facility will be marketed to small and medium-size ships that are more amenable to tendering, according to Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development.

If larger ships want to call at Trujillo, "financing is in place to start construction on a new pier. But initially, construction will focus on a tendering pier," Greve said.

A 2012 completion is targeted for the pier, according to Greve.

This report was corrected on Wednesday afternoon with information that the port will not initially pursue very large cruise ships.


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