Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has revealed that Jamaica has finalized arrangements with global cruise company, Norwegian Cruise Line, to homeport one of their vessels in Montego Bay, with service set to begin on August 7, 2021.
“I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica will be a homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line, which will see the return of cruise tourism to Jamaican waters in August. We look forward to welcoming them back to our shores, and I am confident that this important partnership will aid in our effort to rebuild our tourism sector and boost our economy overall,” said Bartlett.
“While we know there are some concerns about the safety of the cruise industry at this time. We want to assure the public that the cruise lines are adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols. We have also been working tirelessly to develop the necessary policy and strategic frameworks, which will ensure that this will be a safe, seamless and secure experience, which will be mutually beneficial,” he added.
The Norwegian Joy is the vessel which will be used to transport passengers embarking from Jamaica, and the itineraries will include 7-day packages sailing out of Montego Bay.
“Ultimately, the vessel, which has an occupancy of approximately 3,800, will operate at 50% capacity, in keeping with current COVID-19 protocols in place for the cruise shipping industry. Passengers will also be required to be fully vaccinated and take a test prior to boarding the ship,” Minister Bartlett explained.
With this announcement, Jamaica now joins a number of other Caribbean destinations that will be homeports for leading cruise lines.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is a leading international cruise company which operates several brands, including the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. With a combined fleet of 28 ships with approximately 59,150 berths, these brands offer itineraries to more than 490 destinations globally. The Company is slated to introduce nine additional ships through 2027.