JIS News

The resort town of Ocho Rios is reporting high cruise ship passenger figures, with arrivals recorded at more than 390,000 since the start of the year.
Manager of the Ocho Rios Cruise Shipping Terminal, Dennis Richards, told JIS News that the figures should see even greater increase with the Royal Caribbean cruise liner, Freedom of the Seas, making bi-monthly calls at the port.
“She made her first call two weeks ago with roughly 4,100 passengers and Ocho Rios was most excited,” said Mr. Richards, adding that the town saw some 7,500 cruise ship visitors in total on the day, with the Caribbean Princess bringing in more than 3,000 passengers at Reynold’s Pier.
With Freedom of the Seas being one of the largest cruise ships in the world, Mr. Richards said that work was carried out at the port in an effort to accommodate the many passengers that would disembark the vessel when it came into the port. This comprised the addition of 4,000 square feet of terminal space, expansion of the parking lot and upgrading of electrical work.
“There were some concerns about accommodating this ship at berth two because this was not designed for such a large ship, however the authorities did their proper checks and divers went down to check the pilings and it was agreed that the pier could withstand this pressure,” he noted.
In the meantime, Mr. Richards said there were plans to increase the berthing space at the Ocho Rios Terminal. “Hopefully by the year 2009, we should see some things being implemented. The plan is to have finger piers where we can berth up to four ships at this facility,” he informed.
Stating that the town of Ocho Rios and the parish of St. Ann in general, have benefited from the cruise shipping industry, he appealed to residents to continue to be hospitable to visitors and support the tourism sector to build a better Jamaica. Freedom of the Seas made its first inaugural call at the Montego Bay pier in June of last year. The vessel is more than 1,100 feet long and is equipped with an onboard surf park, cantilevered whirlpools, water park, sculpture fountains, rock climbing wall, ground geysers, and a cascading waterfall.

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