A Chinese investor is seeking permission from the Commonwealth Ports Authority to anchor a passenger ship by the Charlie Dock that will serve as a floating hotel for two years.
The ship, called M/V China Star, a 400-foot luxury cruise ship, would accommodate tourists from China and will be anchored permanently at the dock as a “floatel.”
CPA board member Pete Reyes told the board that he has already met with the prospective investors.
Port of Saipan manager Rodney James Taisacan, who was present at the meeting with investors, said, “The group is interested to come in is a floatel, a vessel that is also a hotel where the passengers will be staying. They are bringing in visitors and staying overnight.”
“I advised them to submit a proposal and indicate their plans because the place where they are interested in is the Charlie Dock, which is not feasible at this time. We use the Charlie Dock for military vessels and other cruise ships,” he added.
Once the investors submit their proposal, CPA will study it if it is feasible, Reyes said.
“They did their homework. Obviously, they looked at the topography of the seaport because they know every location, whether it’s owned by Department of Public Lands or not,” Reyes said.
“We informed them that there is a request for proposal for an equidock. But it requires substantial work to build a floating ramp or dock, plus there are other requirements, like if they want to set up a restaurant at the equidock,” he added.
The investors also appear interested in placing their vessel where the M/V Luta is currently situated.
“In the meantime, they want to place it where M/V Luta is placed but [M/V China Star] will occupy the entire length of the area there. We informed them to bring the proposal to the board. We have given them a possible location but it requires board action,” He added
According to CPA board member Barrie Toves, the floatel will alleviate the shortage in hotel rooms on island but he would also like to see the interisland ferry system revived.
“The [CPA] board will have to see the formal presentation of M/V China Star and see how we can move forward,” he said. “We currently lack space to accommodate the interisland ferry system. Also, there have been talks between the leaders on Rota and mayors of Guam to develop interisland tourism but we have insufficient transportation infrastructure.”