The town of Falmouth, Trelawny, welcomed its first cruise ship, Voyager of the Seas, with about 4,500 passengers and crew members, bringing to reality the cherished dream of thousands of residents of the parish and western Jamaica on Thursday (February 17).
Thousands of residents, and visitors from the cruise ship, were treated to a welcoming event in the town dubbed “Falmouth Experience”, featuring the very best of Trelawny’s arts and culture.
Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Colin Gager, joined Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Hon Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, in welcoming the visitors.
Mr. Bartlett said that the test run of the mega vessel, Voyager of the Seas, owned by cruise line Royal Caribbean International, was a statement of the readiness of Falmouth for “prime time” cruise tourism.
“This port and its facilities, as well as the development around the port, is going to be the finest of its kind, not only in the Caribbean but in the entire world. This is not my view only, but the view of a number of other people who have actually come and who have actually seen it,” Mr. Bartlett told JIS News.
He observed that a port was a catalyst, and through the docking of the ship wealth has been brought to Falmouth, which must be received, embraced and enabled for all the people.
“Whatever else we can do, it’s about the people and how the people of Falmouth embrace this development, and what they make the development do for them by way of their own economic enablement and by way of providing, in return, pleasure and satisfaction for the visitors,” Mr. Bartlett pointed out.
Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Colin Gager, expressed happiness at seeing the fruits of the labour and planning of the stakeholders unfolding, with the arrival of the vessel.
“This in a happy and a proud moment, and I just want to say thanks to the Minister (Grange), for the support that she has given to us down here. She has worked very hard with this project, so that we can all see the fruits of our labour here today,” he said.
Miss Grange appealed to residents of Falmouth, and the wider Trelawny, to protect the legacy that they have inherited, as the experience belongs to them.
“This is not only for visitors and this is not only for the cruise ships, although it was built primarily for the cruise ships: This is for all Jamaicans to understand that a wonderful experience is taking place in Falmouth, and we must protect it for future generations,” she said.
A reggae show, “Reggae to the World”, was put on in the Falmouth Town Hall for visitors and residents alike.
CONTACT: GLENIS ROSE
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE