Large-scale nips and tucks underway at Labadee

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The beach will be sandier and silkier, the waves will be gentler and the underwater environment will be friendlier to marine life when current upgrades are completed at Royal Caribbean’s private playground on the north shore of Haiti.

Labadee’s Adrenaline Beach, one of the destination’s five beaches, is getting some TLC.

RCL’s private destination provides a multi-faceted place for guests to sun, swim, snorkel, enjoy private cabanas and shopping, get an adrenaline high on its alpine coaster or the world’s largest over-water zip line, and many other attractions.

The beach improvement project involves a special machine for a simple job on a very large-scale – sifting the existing beach sand to remove any stones that might make barefooting uncomfortable. Once refined, the sand will be returned to the beach and then augmented with some 36,000 metric tons of fresh, white, soft sand.

Not as obvious will be the fabrication and underwater placement of 200 Reef Balls™, “the world’s leading designed artificial reef modules,” according to Reef Ball Foundation, Inc., an Athens, Ga.-based non-profit dedicated to protecting and rehabbing the world’s ocean reef ecosystems.

Shaped on site using a proprietary fiberglass mold system, the Reef Balls are made from a special concrete mix and thoroughly dried for weeks before being submerged to create an artificial reef. They’re intended both to calm waves and minimize erosion while providing a marine habitat.

The beach’s waterline is being redesigned by installing three half-circle shaped headlands placed across the beach to hold the sand in place between them. These new structures will assist with avoiding beach erosion while maintaining a beautiful beach experience.  The headlands are made of large rocks surrounding sandy soil and smaller rocks covered with geotextile fabric to contain them.

The beautification effort included in the Labadee upgrade also involves the strategic planting of a variety of trees and plants to provide both shade and enhance the beach area’s tropical look and feel.

Labadee is a private destination that hosts approximately 700,000 guests per year.  This is only one of a series of improvement projects that our Private Destination Team is working on, led by James Boink, AVP of Private Destinations for Royal Caribbean International. “Our Private Destination Team is committed to providing our guests with an amazing experience. Labadee is all about experiencing, enjoying and relaxing at our beautiful site” explained Boink.