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  • President, Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley is reporting that the development of the Port Royal cruise port terminal is at a “reasonably advanced stage” of completion, ahead of the first cruise call on Monday, January 20.
  • The terminal is located on nine acres of land acquired by the PAJ, at the Old Coal Wharf, a section adjacent to what was historically known as the Port Royal Naval Dockyard.
  • “We are now constructing all of the landside facilities. We are at, I would say a reasonably advanced stage in doing that. It is not a finished terminal but I think it is in a state that is acceptable for having the ships come in,” he said.

President, Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley is reporting that the development of the Port Royal cruise port terminal is at a “reasonably advanced stage” of completion, ahead of the first cruise call on Monday, January 20.

The terminal is located on nine acres of land acquired by the PAJ, at the Old Coal Wharf, a section adjacent to what was historically known as the Port Royal Naval Dockyard.

“We are now constructing all of the landside facilities. We are at, I would say a reasonably advanced stage in doing that. It is not a finished terminal but I think it is in a state that is acceptable for having the ships come in,” he said.

He was speaking during a media sensitisation tour at the PAJ’s Harbour Department, Newport East, on January 17.

The PAJ has used the SeaWalk technology, to create a floating articulated pier which extends from the shore connection point at the terminal, out to the ship.

The use of the SeaWalk berthing system, eliminated the need for dredging, thereby overcoming one of the major obstacles to establishing a cruise berth in Port Royal.

Professor Shirley also cited the development of the Falmouth Pier in 2011, noting that, the port was not fully completed, when the first ship arrived.

“Falmouth was not yet ready but the cruise ships understand that with a new terminal you have to work out all the bugs, make sure that all the technologies work, make sure that all the systems work, so they are prepared to come even before it is fully ready on the understanding that their guests will nonetheless be safe in using the terminal and traversing the town,” he explained.

The President also informed that the terminal building is at an advanced stage of completion and that the ground transport sheds are now complete. He added that paving works have also been done.

“I think it has taken an outstanding effort by our engineers to really have the facilities at a stage where it can accept a ship come Monday morning,” Professor Shirley said.

Fort Charles is also being redeveloped, as part of the development of Port Royal as a historic district.

“We have reroofed some of the buildings, we have repurposed some of the buildings, taking them to what the Fort was actually used for. We are putting in new canons and props throughout… which will allow us to tell a very important story about how Fort Charles was utilised and about the history of Port Royal,” he said.

The President noted too that the Giddy House will be transformed.

“We are going to build a new facility to show what the Giddy House was actually before the earthquake occurred,” he said.

Professor Shirley further stated that a promenade which is under construction is “paved and partially ready to be utilised.”

In addition, the PAJ has agreed to work with the National Water Commission in putting in a sewage system for Port Royal.

The Authority has also undertaken projects at the Port Royal Primary and Infant School, as well as rehabilitated the Fisherman’s Jetty.

Meanwhile Professor Shirley said the port is being developed to have multiple uses.

“We don’t want this to be a port that is only going to be used on the two or three days per week that we have a ship here, it is being designed to accommodate a wide variety of events,” he said.

Port Royal is one of the most fascinating locations in the entire Caribbean, with well over 500 years of incredible history, full of the most interesting characters to have ever lived.

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