Carnival Cruise Lines Announces Construction of Two Cruise Ship Docks just Outside Puerto Plata

Tourism and the Condo/Villa Residency Market on the North Coast Just Got a Huge Boost:

Talk about big news for Cabarete, Sosua, and Puerto Plata, Carnival Cruise Lines in mid-August inked a deal that will significantly enhance the visibility of the “Part Time Residency” tsunami that in recent years has attracted such an interesting mix of expats from Canada, The United States, and Europe. Long known as a favorite destination to enjoy the year round wind sports such as kite boarding and wind surfing, the north coast (Cabarete and Sosua) has for years steadily identified itself as a premier real estate value for retirees and vacation home buyers who want to spend a few months in the tropics out of the cold weather in their home countries.

Tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia announced that the new cruise ship port would be open before the end of 2014, less than a three year window. Carnival Cruise lines plans a $65 million dollar (US) two-berth port facility in the Bay of Maimon just minutes west of Puerto Plata and only five minutes from the Ocean World tourist attraction that has become one of the best Dolphinarium facilities in the world. This area also has a modern boat marina as well as Las Vegas style hotel/show/restaurant.

Gloria Israel, Carnival’s VP of Port Development said Dufry (duty free shops) would be a joint developer partner. Though financed entirely by the Carnival/Dufry group, port executives anticipate non-Carnival controlled ships utilizing the facility as well further increasing familiarity with this important Dominican residency/tourism market increasingly being sought out my North Americans looking to escape the grind.

Dredging of a cruise ship channel into the bay will precede construction and land purchases have recently been completed for the deal to proceed as planned.

Carnival Cruise Line is the world’s largest cruise ship operator with ten cruise lines that own over 100 ships that visit over 169 ports world wide, an ever expanding universe of connections. The lines include Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Carnival and sister ship line Costa each dock at the La Romana port. Construction begins in 2012 and the first cruise ship arrival is scheduled for summer 2014.

Carnival will build and operate the cruise terminal and is expected to have complete control over the ship scheduling, passengers and arrival area. Parking and facilities for the taxis and tour buses will be provided under the terms and procedures set forth by Carnival to maintain an efficient cruise ship port operation. This development is expected to be a significant financial boost for the Puerto Plata region with the construction itself generating numerous jobs that later will be supplanted by new jobs generated to service the ships and visiting passengers.

The port will be prepared to receive two ships with around 2,000 passengers and 500 crew members each at the same time.
Re/Max Coral Bay currently sees a window of opportunity for securing high value low cost properties before natural market forces drive prices higher. Now is the time to look at properties to suit a variety of retirement, second home, and rental investment need and this opportune timing is made even more appealing by the recent expansion of the best gated new villa complex on the north coast, only 15 minutes east of the Puerto Plata airport and located between the two charming towns of Cabarete and Sosua.

For a “Catalogue of Homes” or a copy of “The DR Welcome Guide” contact Arthur or Sally. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you to find your piece of paradise while it is still so amazingly affordable. Contact us today.

Diving in the Dominican Republic

Scuba Divers Explore Magical Sea Life Surrounding the DR

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Discover the endless underwater world of the Dominican Republic (DR), a diver’s paradise with nearly 1,000 miles of breathtaking coastline that features colorful marine life and intriguing shipwrecks from when pirates sailed the Caribbean. Located roughly 800 miles south of Miami, the DR boasts numerous sea grass beds, vibrant coral reefs, mysterious underwater caves and some of the region’s most unique sea creatures. Simply put, divers should expect the unexpected.

“We are a top-notch diving destination amid turquoise waters so clear and blue one has to see to believe. The DR offers diverse marine life, excellent certified diving schools and accessible dive sites along our amazing coasts,” said Magaly Toribio, DR Ministry of Tourism Vice Minister of International Promotion. “The DR has it all with developed tourist areas boasting world-class hotels and more off-the-beaten-path options for adventurous, independent divers.”

With the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the following underwater treasures await you in the DR:

Sheer Exhilaration in the South

The DR’s Southcentral Coast is home to illuminating coral, technicolor fish, an underwater national park, mysterious caverns and is well-suited for both beginner and experienced divers.

East of capital city Santo Domingo near Boca Chica, La Caleta Underwater National Park delights beginners and experienced divers alike at 600 square miles and 600 feet deep. With fascinating reef and wreck diving, La Caleta is known for attracting multicolor fish and the park will soon introduce the first underwater museum of submerged Dominican themed sculptures.

Nearby, divers can explore the 69 foot wreck of tugboat El Limon embedded with coral reefs and 144 foot wreck of Hickory, surrounded by hundreds of yellow tube sponge clusters that swim among this treasure salvage vessel.

Also hidden in the DR’s southern waters is El Catuan, a sunken ship buried 60 feet underwater, and Barracuda Reef, a natural underwater mountain thriving with barracudas. Here you will discover mysterious underwater caves like Cueva Taina, El Hipodromo and El Tildo.

More adventurous divers can explore the DR’s extreme southern coastal area near Barahona-Pedernales. This less-traveled coast features warmer waters and well-protected dives due to the reef structures and coastal curve.

Adventure along the Southeast Coast

With a wealth of marine life, the DR’s Southeast Coast has one of the Caribbean’s largest sunken ships, the 266 foot long St. George, where you may come face to face with grouper, barracudas, dolphins, morays, and mackerel, to name a few.

Southwest of La Romana, the idyllic Catalina Island offers 15 to 140 feet deep dives in reefs like La Pared (The Wall), or caves like Hoyo Azul (Blue Hole) and Padre Nuestro Cave (Our Father’s Cave). Catalina Island is also home to the aquarium, a large coral formation inhabited by toad fish, sea horses and the lion fish. Just off Catalina Island is a spectacular wall dive of a coral slope running 130 feet deep to a sandy bottom, with an abundance of fish, corals and sponges along the way.

Adrenaline Rush on the North Coast

Offering 225 miles of amazing coastline from the Samana Peninsula to Montecristi, the North Coast is filled with colorful coral, rich marine fauna, unrivaled caves, tunnels and reef abysses.

Waters surrounding Samana are known for more challenging dives, especially around Las Galeras. A quick boat ride away, divers can journey 120 feet down and swim around the coral tower Cabo Cabron and other coral landscapes like Las Tres Puertas (The Three Doors) and La Piedra (The Stone).

For exploration on land, be sure to visit the Deep Blue Marine’s Shipwreck Museum in Samana with cool exhibits of artifacts recovered from ancient shipwrecks. Exhibitions have included artifacts from Le Scipion, a French warship that fought in the American War of Independence, as well as several other major historical wrecks.

Hidden in the protected waters of Sosua Bay, northwest of Samana, are underwater gardens, wall and reef diving, and shipwrecks, all swimming with an array of marine life. Divers can travel west of Sosua to Montecristi and observe a variety of coral reefs, such as Cayo Arena, as well as the remains of nearly 230 shipwrecks, including one from the Spanish fleet that sunk in 1563.

For more information and scuba diving brochures, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.

Help out Big Papi by making a bid – Extra Bases – Red Sox blog

Help out Big Papi by making a bid

In conjunction with his celebrity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic next month, David Ortiz is auctioning off some terrific items and experiences for his charity.

Check it out on his web site.

There are fielding lessons from Dustin Pedroia, a chance to take batting practice with David and tickets to assorted Red Sox events. There are vacations, sporting events in other cities, a chance to hang out with Bobby Orr or to meet Jim Rice.

You can even throw out the first pitch at Fenway for a game next season.

So if you’re looking for a unique gift or have some extra money to spend, it will aid a good cause as David helps needy children who require life-saving heart surgery in his homeland.

via Help out Big Papi by making a bid – Extra Bases – Red Sox blog.