New Caribbean Port Coming in 2014

The first time we cruised to "Honduras" was about three years ago and the opportunity to do so was intriguing, since it was a country we had never visited…and it's always interesting to go somewhere new.

Then we looked at a map.

The ship — Norwegian's Epic — was visiting Roatan. Now technically, Roatan is part of Honduras. It's an island that sits in the Gulf of Honduras, the largest of three islands that make up one "department" or province of the 18 in this Central American country. Put it another way: the population of Honduras is about 8,000,000…the population of Roatan is just over 70,000.

Roatan has beaches and scuba diving and a tourist economy fueled by cruise ships. It is a long way from the country's capital, Tegucigalpa, ands not just geographically. The mainland has never really been a magnet for travelers, many of whom think it should stay that way. Honduras has been more of a hotspot for terrorism than tourism, with 300 wars or rebellions in its 200 years of independence. In a way, seeing Roatan as representative of its country is not unlike seeing Hawaii as representative of its country.

Anyway, things are changing.

There's a new cruise port on the Honduran mainland. It's called Banana Coast, it cost $30 million and it will be open for business next year. Holland America has committed to 11 port calls over the next two years, and Silversea's Silver Cloud will stop by in December 2014. And the pier is large enough to accommodate two "Oasis size" ships.

The port is called Trujillo, a Colonial city which once had Christopher Columbus as a visitor and which is, as the crow flies, is less than 50 miles across the Caribbean Sea from Roatan.

So it's still a long way from Tegucigalpa…and the "real" Honduras.

It's also a start.

Holland America Noordam
11 nights
August 15, 2013
Athens, Crete, Cairo, Rhodes, Ephesus, Mykonos, Istanbul
Inside: $999
Cost per day: $90

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