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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, is slated to make its inaugural call to Jamaica in November.
  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the visit will provide a major boost for Jamaica’s growing cruise-ship sector, which is still celebrating a 13.6 per cent growth for the 2015/16 winter season.
  • “It is no secret that all the cruise lines that ply the western Caribbean route continue to see Jamaica as a marquee destination, boasting some of the Caribbean’s finest attractions,” he

Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, is slated to make its inaugural call to Jamaica in November.

The vessel, owned by Royal Caribbean, is scheduled to dock at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the visit will provide a major boost for Jamaica’s growing cruise-ship sector, which is still celebrating a 13.6 per cent growth for the 2015/16 winter season.

He was speaking to JIS News at the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) held on June 11, at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in St. Ann.

“In addition to Royal Caribbean’s other vessels – Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – Jamaica will now have the three largest ships in the world calling on our ports,” Mr. Bartlett pointed out.

He informed that Harmony of the Seas is on its inaugural voyage in Barcelona, Spain, and will remain in Europe for the summer before going to Fort Lauderdale in the fall for its Caribbean cruise, when it will make its Jamaica stop.

Mr. Bartlett told JIS News that Royal Caribbean has had a long relationship with the local cruise industry, with the Falmouth Pier accommodating most of the cruise line’s flagship vessels.

“As a matter of fact, it’s not just Royal Caribbean,” the Minister pointed out.

“It is no secret that all the cruise lines that ply the western Caribbean route continue to see Jamaica as a marquee destination, boasting some of the Caribbean’s finest attractions,” he said.

“When itineraries are being put together, the quality attractions we have here in Jamaica have to be taken into consideration. Where else in the Caribbean or in this hemisphere will you find a natural gem like Dunn’s River?” he asked.

Discussion for Additional Ships

The Tourism Minister told JIS News that the cruise sector is poised for further growth.

“I am actually going to Miami next week to meet with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association to discuss additional ships for Jamaica. We see Kingston coming into the picture now as a cruise destination…these are really exciting times,” he said.

At 226,963 tons, Harmony of the Seas has been described as a “floating mega resort”.  It boasts three main pool areas, a water slide complex, adults-only solarium, an ice skating rink, two rock climbing walls, a basketball court and a mall-like indoor promenade with shops, bars and eateries.

Wider than Oasis and Allure by about 2.5 feet, Harmony holds nearly 100 more passengers than its sisters at double occupancy.

Its total capacity is 6,780 people, not including crew, which is a record for the cruise industry.