Efforts to enhance the country’s cruise shipping industry received a boost yesterday (April 6), when the M/S Caribbean Princess docked in Montego Bay with some 3,082 passengers.
The new 3,450 capacity cruise ship, which was built at a cost of approximately US$680 million, sailed into Montego Bay after a four-year break and is scheduled to make some 16 more calls during this cruise season.
Captain of the M/S Caribbean Princess, Giuseppe Romano and the crew were presented with gifts by several representatives of the tourism, cruise shipping, transport and business sectors during a ceremony on board.
The new Caribbean Princess in all its beauty and splendour as it docks in the Montego Bay harbour on its inaugural visit to the tourist capital, bringing some 3,082 passengers.
William Tatham, Vice President of Cruise Ship Operations, noted that the entire country was pleased with this new initiative, which should significantly increase tourist arrivals to Jamaica.
“Our team has been very instrumental in lifting the bar to a level that we are still striving to achieve, but I think we have done a remarkable job with the private sector and the public sector working closely together. We are truly pleased that the M/S Caribbean Princess has returned and we are very optimistic of the long term benefits to the country,” Mr. Tatham said.
In welcoming the new ship to western Jamaica, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Cecil Davis said that the city was excited about the economic relationship that would be enjoyed by the business and tourism community as a result of the ship’s scheduled visits.
“We in Montego Bay are truly honoured to have such a magnificent vessel docking at our shores with so many passengers, who will be supporting the city’s economy. We are looking forward to a long and lasting relationship as we approach the possibilities of the future,” Deputy Mayor Davis said.
Vice President of Caribbean and Atlantic Shore Operations, Stephen Nielsen, who was largely responsible for the cruise ship returning to Jamaica, said that Jamaica had always been a part of the ship’s itinerary.
“Through the efforts and hospitality of the many workers and the tourism officials in Jamaica, the morale of the crew has, over the past years, risen substantially and this has enabled us to return home to Jamaica with full confidence that our passengers, your guests will have a memorable experience . and this will increase the generation of visitors to the country,” Mr. Nielsen said.