Port of Bridgetown

Port of Bridgetown
Port of Bridgetown
Gateway to Deep Water Habour, Barbados.jpg
Gatehouse for the Deep Water Harbour from the Princess Alice Highway. (c.a. November 2000)
Country Barbados Barbados
Location Bridgetown, St. Michael
Coordinates 13°06′22″N 59°37′55″W / 13.106°N 59.632°W / 13.106; -59.632
Opened 1961
Operated by Barbados Port, Inc.
Owned by Government of Barbados
Type of harbor Artificial
(Coastal Breakwater)[1]
Available berths 7[2]
Wharfs 0
Piers 0
Employees 592
Website http://www.barbadosport.com/

The Port of Bridgetown (officially the Deep Water Harbour),[3] (AMS Seaport Code: 27201,[4][5] UN/LOCODE: BB BGI, Port Callsign: 8PB) is a seaport in Bridgetown on the southwest coast of Barbados. Situated along Carlisle Bay, the harbour handles all of the country's international bulk ship-based trade and commerce.[6] In addition to international-shipping the Deep Water Harbour is the port of entry for southern-Caribbean cruise ships.[7] The port is one of three (3) designated ports of entry in Barbados; it along with the privately owned Port Saint Charles marina are the two designated ports of entry for persons arriving by sea. While the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport is the designated port of entry for persons arriving and departing by air. The port's timezone is GMT –4, and it handles roughly 700,000[8] cruise passengers and 900,000 tonnes of containerised cargo per year.



Construction of the Deep Water Harbour began in 1956 by Costain Group of Britain,[9] and cost EC$28,000,000 through completion in 1961. The port was formed by creating a man-made isthmus across the shallow strait that existed off the coast of Fontabelle, St. Michael. The isthmus formed 90 acres of new land stretching from the original west coast of Barbados, out to a small uninhabited island nearby named Pelican Island. After the initial completion, the harbour later underwent a $22 million expansion seventeen years later.[3]

In 2002 Barbados Port Inc. contracted with Jan De Nul Group of Companies of Belgium to carry out dredging at the port facility. The dredging was deemed necessary to allow some of the world's largest cruise ships to berth in Barbados rather than anchoring offshore. The project followed a rigorous environmental monitoring programme by the Barbados Port Inc. along with key regulatory agencies, namely the Town Planning Department, the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Environmental Engineering Division and the University of the West Indies' Natural Resources Management Programme to ensure that the oceanographic and sediment processes, the water quality, and the marine communities were not compromised in any way.[10] During this operation, the port's depth was increased to 11.6 metres (from 9.6 metres). Reclaimed material from the dredging was added to increase the port's cargo area by 9 acres.[11]

In December 2008, Minister of International Transport George Hutson announced that due to congestion between cargo and passenger ships at the Deep Water Harbour, the country needed to look at expansion at the facility following the last upgrade undertaken in 2002.[12] Due to the importance of Tourism to Barbados' economy, the government is presently reviewing a further $70 million dollar upgrade.[13]

In September 2010, the Barbados government stated it was reviewing a list of joint-venture partners to construct the new cruise ship facilities at the port with expected construction to begin in 2011.[14]

Due to increased activity at the port, officials say it poised to become a "super-hub of the southern Caribbean", rivalling Puerto Rico.[15][16][17]


Responsibility for administering the port is vested in the CEO of Barbados Port Incorporated (BPI). As a statutory corporation it oversees all matters affecting the efficient operations of the harbour facility. B.P.I. also advises the Ministry of International Business and International Transport who has ultimate authority for the Deep Water Harbour. Barbados Port Inc. is a member of: the American Association of Port Authorities,[18] the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA),[19] the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (P.M.A.C.),[20][21] the Shipping Association of Barbados (SAB),[22] and an affiliate of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).[23]

It has been awarded the title of "Caribbean Port of the Year" for: 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998; the "Best Multi-Purpose Terminal (Container terminal)" in 2004 and 2005;[24] and the safest port in the Caribbean region in 2011.[25][26]


Tugboat Pelican II in Barbados.


Top trading partners:[27]

Imports: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Top import sources (2009)
  • Trinidad and Tobago – 28.52%,
  • United States of America – 27.96%,
  • Colombia – 7.13%,
  • China – 4.76%,
  • United Kingdom – 4.39%

Exports: manufactures, sugar and molasses, cotton, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, light manufacturing, electrical components

Top export destinations (2009)
  • Trinidad and Tobago – 17.48%,
  • Jamaica – 15.63%,
  • United States of America – 8.93%,
  • Saint Lucia – 8.13%,
  • United Kingdom – 5.36%,
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 5.04%,
  • Antigua and Barbuda – 4.12%


Terminal facilities
Berths Depth
Quay length
Breakwater 11.5 522 For Cruise vessels.
Sugar Berth 9.75 307 For Bulk sugar, molasses tankers.
(Cross) Berth #1 11 152 Naval, auxiliary vessels.
Berth #2 11.0 183 Cruise vessels, breakbulk vessels.
Berth #3 11.0 183 breakbulk, container vessels.
Berth #4 11.0 184 Container vessels.
Berth #5 11.0 65 Container vessels.
Shallow Draught 6.8 156 Inter-island cargo vessels (breakbulk)
Bulk Facility 9.75 183 Dry bulk vessels.
Esso Jetty 11.6 244 Petroleum tankers.
Needham’s Point 11.6 198 Petroleum tankers.
Oistins 10.0 172 Petroleum tankers.
Black Rock 7.5 122 Petroleum tankers.
Spring Garden 4.9 103 Petroleum tankers.

Passenger lines

The Deep-Water Harbour now acts as a home port for many of the British-based Cruise ship lines operating in the Caribbean region. Some of the Cruise Lines which visit or are home ported at the Deep Water Harbour include:[28]

  • Residensea
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Royal Olympic Cruises
  • Saga Shipping
  • Seabourn/Cunard
  • Sea Cloud Cruises
  • Seadream Yacht Club Cruises
  • Seetours International
  • Services Transport
  • Silversea Cruises
  • Star Clippers
  • Sun Cruises
  • Swan Hellenic
  • Unicom Management
  • V-Ships
  • Waybell Cruises
  • Westria Holdings
  • Windjammer Cruises
  • Wind Star Cruises

Ships registry

Barbados has a small but increasing ships registry. The Barbados Maritime Ships Registry (BMSR) has seventy six (76) vessels flying the Barbados Flag.

See also


  1. ^ Aerial photo of the Deep Water Harbour
  2. ^ 2009 Statistics, PMAC
  4. ^ Foreign Port Codes, Census.gov
  5. ^ Foreign Port Codes, Page International - Port Codes
  6. ^ T, C (2006-10-25). "Barbados 'best home port'". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20070310184849/http://www.nationnews.com/story/289975730418660.php. Retrieved 2009-10-10. "Barbados has been billed the largest and most active cruise line home port in the world. And Barbadians are fast becoming the beneficiaries of this growing multi-million-dollar industry. That was the word from Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, as Barbados prepares to host 18 home-porting cruise ships during the coming winter tourist season. Lynch made these disclosures during a Press conference yesterday at the Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC 29) taking place at the Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Lucaya Resort, Grand Bahama Island. "We will be having just about 17 or 18 ships turning in Barbados as a home port. And what will be happening in 2008 is that P&O Cruise Line (Pacific and Orient) is gearing up to bring an even larger ship to Barbados. Home porting contributes significantly to our numbers and to the economy. These ships cause people to be surprised about the level of provisioning that is done locally and the level of service which goes into these ships," he said." 
  7. ^ Applewhaite, Gillian (2009-10-10). "Barbados PM discusses growth of cruise business with Carnival CEO". CaribbeanNetNews.com. Cayman Islands. http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-19254--26-26--.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10. "BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Barbados is considered central to Carnival's developing cruise business, with three ships, Ventura, Oceana and Artemis, expected to home port in Bridgetown this winter season. This number should increase to four from winter 2010, when the new luxury ship Azura is launched. Chief Executive of Carnival UK, David Dingle, made this known during a meeting with Prime Minister David Thompson in Great Britain earlier this week. Describing the meeting as "very productive", Thompson said it was clear that Carnival UK saw Barbados as a key partner in the development of its cruise business within the Caribbean." 
  8. ^ B., J. M. (25 January 2011). "Forecast looking good for passenger growth". The Barbados Advocate. http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=15340. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "“Our thrust is to take the number of cruise passengers from 700,000 to 1.2 million per year. A significant percentage of these will be part of the Air/Sea and Stay/Cruise programs. Existing facilities at GAIA are already stressed to handle passenger volumes during the 12 to 4 p.m. period. The new focus of developing the air/sea program will necessitate a suitable review of the airport plant and no doubt this will be addressed in by the master plan,” he said." 
  9. ^ Deep Water at Bridgetown - Film by Richard Costain Ltd British Film Institute, 1961
  10. ^ Staff writer (Unk) "Cruise and Cargo Facilities" Barbados Port Inc. http://www.barbadosport.com/html/cargo.html 
  11. ^ Barbados Port Inc: Cruise and Cargo Facilities
  12. ^ T, C (2008-12-24). "Port call". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2008-12-24. http://cache.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=-1565812607&page_url=%2f%2fwww.nationnews.com%2fstory%2f324258899010992.php&page_last_updated=12%2f24%2f2008+7%3a32%3a32+AM. Retrieved 2009-10-10. "MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT George Hutson yesterday expressed concern about increasing congestion at the Bridgetown Port. "Right now the cruise ships get priority and the cargo ships have to wait, but we are hoping to expand the facilities to be able to accommodate larger vessels," the minister said at a ceremony marking the inaugural visit of the Queen Victoria. "If we can get a couple of larger berths, it would create more space in the deep water harbour, and we would be able also accommodate larger ships and also offload cargo vessels while cruise ships are in port," he added. The 13-deck Queen Victoria was one of three cruise ships docking at the Bridgetown Port yesterday, the others being Ocean Village and Caribbean Princess." 
  13. ^ Jordan, Ricky (2009-11-25). "$70m cruise plan". Nation Newspaper. http://www.nationnews.com/news/local/LEAD-port-venture-FRONT-PAGE-LEAD. 
  14. ^ Thangaraj, Patricia (9 September 2010). "Cruise facilities to be expanded". The Barbados Advocate. http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=12632. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  15. ^ H., J. (27 December 2010). "High hopes for Port". The Barbados Advocate. http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?NewsID=14805. Retrieved 31 December 2010. "THERE is an emerging belief that Barbados’ port will become a super-hub in the south, mirroring the cruise activities of Puerto Rico in the north. So says Chairman of the Barbados Port Inc., David Harding, who stressed that the management team is committed to making Barbados the number one port in the Caribbean." 
  16. ^ Bynoe, Kenmore (26 December 2010). "Close to 7 000 cruisers". Nation Newspaper. http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/close-to-7-000-cruisers-for-boxing-day/. Retrieved 31 December 2010. "In welcoming the crew of the Queen Elizabeth, on its inaugural trip, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy expressed joy and pride that Barbados was able to accommodate the largest vessels in the world without having to use the method of years ago, where ships berthed offshore and passengers were ferried to port." 
  17. ^ Bynoe, Kenmore (27 December 2010). "Queen comes to port". Nation Newspaper. http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/queen-comes-to-port/. Retrieved 31 December 2010. "Barbados’ bid to become the No. 1 cruise destination in the Southern Caribbean made a gigantic splash in the right direction when one of the largest cruise ships, the Queen Elizabeth, sailed into the Bridgetown Port at dawn yesterday morning." 
  18. ^ Corporate Members - Caribbean Ports, American Association of Port Authorities
  19. ^ Barbados Port Inc., Caribbean Shipping Association
  20. ^ About the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (P.M.A.C.)
  21. ^ Barbados Port Inc., Port Management Association of the Caribbean, P.M.A.C.
  22. ^ Shipping Association of Barbados - About us
  23. ^ Caribbean Maritime Institute
  24. ^ Awards, Caribbean Shipping Association
  25. ^ Barbados port recognized as the safest in the Caribbean
  26. ^ Good re port
  27. ^ Barbados profile, CIA World factbook (Economy)
  28. ^ Staff Writer "Cruise Lines" Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) Barbados, W.I. http://www.visitbarbados.org/cruise/cruiselines.aspx 

External links

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