Cayman Islands News

The Cayman Compass is the Islands National Newspaper.

31st Oct 2016: Expecting a good year, Cayman’s tourism industry preps for high season

New figures released by the Tourism Department show tourist arrivals by air and on cruise ships ticked up for the third quarter and for the year so far.

Businesses are ramping up operations and adding staff ahead of the official start of the tourist season with Pirates Week next week.

For the first nine months of this year, air arrivals inched up a fraction of a percent to about 296,000 compared to the same period in 2015. Cruise arrivals went up by 70,000, to 1.3 million for the same period, according to data from the Tourism Department.


3rd Oct 2016: Cayman’s ‘butterfly garden’ heralds arrival of breeding season

The blooms are getting more plentiful at Cayman Turtle Centre’s butterfly garden, heralding the arrival of butterfly breeding season, as well as visits from a variety as migrant butterflies.

The garden is also a learning tool for students visiting the facility on educational field trips.

Butterflies and day-flying moths can be seen at the garden throughout the day, but the best viewing times tend to be late mornings as the sun warms up the cold-blooded insects, and early afternoons as the temperature begins to slowly decline from the peak of the day.


11th Sept 2016: Ironwood set for November groundbreaking

Local contractors will be given priority as developer Ironwood prepares to break ground on its multi-million dollar and resort in the eastern districts.

David Hayes, vice president of Wharton-Smith Inc. Construction Group, the project managers for the development, said clearing and surveying work would begin in November.

He hopes to meet with local firms shortly to discuss the range of jobs, which will include everything from excavating the property and blasting the lakes to building the network of internal roads and utilities infrastructure that will service the planned community.


1st Aug 2016: Jason Crabb delivers night to remember

Grammy Award winner Jason Crabb delivered a night to remember Sunday at the Lions Centre.

The popular Christian artist is known for his heartfelt songs and powerful vocals. He did not disappoint, as fans clapped and sang along to “He Knows What He’s Doing,” “Sometimes I Cry,” “Through the Fire” and “I’d Rather Have Jesus.”

“Last night was just phenomenal,” Mr. Crabb told the Cayman Compass on Monday. “I was blown away … I can’t wait to get back and tell the family we have to do another concert here.”


1st July 2016: Lights, camera, action for Cayfilm

Featuring 200 films from more than 50 countries, the Cayman International Film Festival gets under way Friday night with a special screening of the only feature film to be shot entirely on these shores.

A special director’s cut of “Haven,” written and directed by homegrown talent Frank E. Flowers, will be shown at the opening gala of CayFilm at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Friday night.


26th June 2016: Miss Universe visits Cayman

Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, from the Philippines, visited Cayman over the weekend to host a Pinoy Pride Independence Month celebration, marking Filipino Independence Day.

More than 1,500 people gathered at the Lions Community Centre Friday night to welcome Miss Universe to the islands.


9th June 2016: Margaritaville designs unveiled

The first renderings of the Margaritaville Grand Cayman Beach Resort were released this week, with the developer anticipating it will be “substantially complete” by the end of the year.

The artwork shows a revamped lobby area dotted with potted palms and new furniture, as well as refurbished rooms.


13th May 2016: Bolt from the blue

The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt touched down in the Cayman Islands Thursday, ready for his first race of the season as he warms up for the Rio Olympics.

Bolt was greeted by crowds of cheering schoolchildren as he landed first in Cayman Brac, stopping to meet his young fans before a more low-key arrival at the Owen Roberts International Airport.


5th May 2016: Carnival time in Cayman

It was party time in George Town on Saturday as Cayman’s carnival kings and queens danced through the streets to celebrate the annual Batabano festival.

Thousands dressed in colorful sequined costumes paraded through the capital to the pounding rhythm of a succession of DJs and drumlines in the 31st annual celebration.


1st May 2016: Guy Harvey, SeaWorld team up to save sharks

In a new partnership, Guy Harvey is teaming up with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to work on raising awareness and doing research on shark conservation.

The Guy Harvey Research Institute estimates that almost 100 million sharks are killed each year, with an estimated 73 million killed for the trade in shark fins.


18th April 2016: Plans submitted for Ironwood golf course

Plans were submitted Friday for an 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course in the eastern districts of Grand Cayman.

Work on the golf course, the first phase of the Ironwood development, is expected to begin in July, pending approval of the Central Planning Authority.


21st March 2016: Sun halo shines over Cayman

A celestial phenomenon was visible over Cayman on Monday morning in the form of a sun halo. It appears as a circle or halo around the sun, and is caused by sunlight refracting through cirrostratus clouds in the upper atmosphere. Cirrostratus clouds are made up mostly of ice crystals, and the refraction of sunlight through the crystals has a similar effect to that of light through a prism


6th March 2016: Royal couple arrives in Cayman

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, made a brief visit to Grand Cayman on Sunday before boarding a Cayman Airways Express jet to Little Cayman.

The couple is making a private visit to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman and is scheduled to return to Grand Cayman to make presentations on Monday.


22nd Feb 2016: Kittiwake shipwreck photos garner accolades

Images of Cayman underseas vistas including West Bay’s Kittiwake dive site have earned two photographers high acclaim in the 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year awards.

The photography competition, now in its second year but with its roots in the 1965 Brighton Underwater Film Festival, reportedly attracted 2,500 images entered from over 40 different countries last year. This year’s overall winner was Italian photographer Davide Lopresti for an image of a seahorse titled “Gold.”


31st January 2016: Monyque Brooks begins reign as Miss Cayman

Amid tremendous applause, 24-year-old Monyque Brooks, sponsored by Miracle Brokers, was crowned Miss Cayman Islands 2016 Saturday night at the Lions Centre.

She was also voted Miss Best Smile, Miss Photogenic and Best In Gown.

18th January 2016: Surprise guest Lionel Richie delights at food gala

Guests at the “Seven to Savour” gala dinner held at Blue by Eric Ripert on Sunday night found they had an unexpected celebrity guest among them. Award-winning singer and songwriter Lionel Richie decided to attend the evening in person for the launch of his new luxury dinnerware line, the Lionel Richie Home Collection.


17th January 2016: Miss Cayman hopefuls tour Grand Cayman

The 2016 Miss Cayman Islands contestants took a tour of the island Saturday, each riding atop a car, smiling and waving as the beauty pageant hopefuls cruised the island from West Bay to East End.

Miss Cayman 2015 Tonie Chisholm led the motorcade on the day-long tour.

A truck loaded with speakers and a DJ provided the soundtrack for and drew attention to the young women vying for this year’s crown on Jan. 30.


11th December 2015: Cayman Economic Outlook conference date, speakers set
Cayman Economic Outlook conference date, speakers set

The date for the Cayman Economic Outlook was announced Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, where the conference will be held.

Also announced were the guest speakers, who include global economist Dambisa Moyo. In 2009, Ms. Moyo was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world after the publication of her best-selling book “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa,” in which she argues that government-to-government aid is ultimately harmful to Africa’s development.


16th November 2015:Pirates land in Grand Cayman!

Pirates land in Grand Cayman!</

The pirates came ashore Saturday amidst the sounds of cannon and musket fire, quickly outnumbering the red-coated British soldiers assembled on the dock.

Thousands of revelers awaited the landing along the waterfront, which turned out to be a relatively peaceful affair. Peaceful, that is, once the swashbucklers successfully kidnapped the governor – or at least the man playing the part of governor for the annual rite kicking off the Pirates Week parade.

Thousands of people lined up along the waterfront in central George Town, eyes shaded by tricorn pirate hats and making frequent use of the word “arrhh.” Many went all the way, from toddlers to grandmothers, embracing the full pirate persona.


2nd October 2015: Carnival cruise line could play role in port project

Carnival cruise line could play role in port project

Carnival Cruise Lines says it is “open to playing a role” in the development of new piers in George Town harbor.

Premier Alden McLaughlin announced Wednesday that government plans to proceed with the project despite concerns over damage to coral reefs in the harbor.

He said the next step would be consultation with the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the cruise lines over a funding model for the piers, expected to cost at least $150 million.


11th September 2015: Spectacular coral spawning delights divers

Spectacular coral spawning delights divers

Like “snowflakes in reverse,” tiny bundles of coral spawn drift to the ocean’s surface. It is the moment of conception for new coral reefs that will form over hundreds of years in the waters around the Cayman Islands.

Amid concern for the future of reefs in George Town harbor and across Cayman generally, experts say the annual natural phenomenon provides hope for the future health of the islands’ marine environment.

At Ocean Frontiers dive shop in East End, scuba divers and photographers gathered last week to watch the show.


28th August 2015: Cultural market opens at East End Blow Holes

Cultural market opens at East End Blow Holes

A new market featuring local foods and East End crafts has opened across from the Blow Holes. A sign high on a pole on Sea View Road, opposite the popular attraction, points tourists to the shaded craft stands and picnic tables.

Across from the stairway leading down to the rocks, the new venture hopes to pull in tourists who stop by the side of the road to watch the geyser-like displays. Tourists can now see artisans, all from East End, ply their craft, carving driftwood into statues and furniture, or weaving thatch palm into hats, baskets and fans.


20th August 2015: Crystal Cave attraction to open this year

Crystal Cave attraction to open this year

A new cave tourism attraction could be open in North Side before the end of the year.

Landowner Christian Sorensen aims to begin running guided nature tours of the cave system and surrounding area starting in November.

He has applied for planning permission for a toilet block, security center and snack shop at the site, which will be known as Crystal Caves. Mr. Sorensen said the aim is to start with a small-scale nature tourism operation, offering tours of three of the caves.


7th August 2015: Little Cayman rocks with Flor de Caña

Little Cayman rocks with Flor de Caña

The residents of Little Cayman love Flor de Caña 12-year-old rum more than anyone else in the world, at least statistically. For that, they were rewarded.

On July 24, Flor de Caña and Tortuga Rum Company hosted “The Ultimate Flor de Caña Party” at The Hungry Iguana Restaurant & Bar, featuring complimentary rum drinks, a cigar roller and entertainment by DJ Flex.


June 16th: Swimmers bloom at Flowers event

Swimmers bloom at Flowers event

Seven Mile Beach was transformed into a sea of color on Saturday, as hundreds of competitors turned out for the annual Flowers Sea Swim.

The 1-mile stretch from The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman to Royal Palms bobbed with red, green and orange swim caps as people of every size, shape and ability level took part in Cayman’s popular sporting showpiece.


June 5th, 2015: Cayman film festival ready for debut

Cayman film festival ready for debut

Cayfilm, the Cayman Islands International Film Festival, will open Thursday, June 18, with a screening of “Serena” starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, followed by a star-studded gala at Camana Bay.

19th May 2015: U.S. News & World Report Seven Mile Beach 'No. 1' in the world

seven_mile_beach_number1-smallThe Cayman Islands’ Seven Mile Beach has been designated the world’s top beach vacation spot by the U.S. News & World Report.

The rankings, released by the publication’s U.S. News Travel website, are based on a review of commentary by visitors and certain expert evaluators, not the editors’ individual opinions.

The ratings consider a number of factors including ambiance, accessibility, affordability and approval among tourism experts and travelers. Based on evaluations of those areas, the world’s top 12 beaches were chosen.


14th May 2015: Rare Cayman ghost orchid in bloom 

news-2015--ghost-orchidThe subtle cream color of Cayman’s Ghost Orchid makes it hard to spot, dangling from a tree by a slender stem in its once-yearly bloom. The orchid, Dendrophylax fawcettii, is critically endangered and found only on Grand Cayman.