Cable Cars Proposed for Cruise Ships Visiting Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman Sky Bridge
The Cayman Sky Bridge would be able to serve up to four mega-liners at once.Artist Rendering

Anyone who has cruised to Grand Cayman knows the frustration of waiting in line for the tenders that take cruise ship guests to and from George Town's port. While the island nation has long debated the ecological trade-offs of building piers for ships, another idea has surfaced that might be an intriguing compromise: cable cars.

Television station Cayman 27 reports that the Cayman Sky Bridge would call for two piers built into the seabed in 70 feet of water, which would ideally eliminate the need for dredging. It's the dredging that worries environmentalists who want to protect the scuba diving industry in the Cayman Islands. Four ships could dock at the piers, and guests would ride to shore on cable cars that could handle up to 20,000 passengers per hour.

“Anyone who is concerned about the environment and the cost environmentally and financially of building traditional piers in relatively shallow water with lots of reef formations and so forth, could use this as a viable option,” James Whittaker, CEO of GreenTech Group, told Cayman 27.

The Sky Bridge would cost around $170 million to build. No word yet on whether Cayman will choose his plan vs. the traditional idea of cruise piers attached to shore.