The new $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center (MBCC) in Roatan officially opened yesterday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by dozens of local dignitaries and VIPs.  The ceremony served to kick off the center’s 2010 cruise season which will see some 200 cruise ship visits and 500,000 passengers in the coming year. MBCC is a joint project between Carnival Corporation & plc and local businessman Jerry Hynds.

Pictured here at the ceremony are (from left): Jerry Hynds; Honduran  President Porfirio Lobo Sosa; Carnival Corporation & plc Senior Vice President of Port and Destination Development Giora Israel; and Captain Salvatore Rassello of Carnival Cruise Lines’ cruise ship, Carnival Valor, which was docked at the facility during the festivities.

More than five years in development and two years under construction, the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center encompasses 20 acres of waterfront property and includes a two-berth cruise terminal which can accommodate up to 8,000 passengers daily.

Unique to Mahogany Bay is a new chair lift system that takes cruise ship guests from the welcome center to beautiful Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre private island featuring an 825-foot-long white-sand beach with a beach volleyball court and myriad watersports opportunities.  Eight exclusive cabanas are also available for rent.

In addition to Carnival Cruise Lines, other Carnival Corporation & plc brands call at the facility, including the Yachts of Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, and P&O Cruises. Several non-Carnival Corporation & plc brands also visit the center.