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Story Highlights

  • The ports of Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston will host a combined six cruise vessels on December 6, giving the island’s cruise-shipping industry another significant boost.
  • This will be the second time in the past four years that so many ships will be simultaneously calling on Jamaica. In 2012, a record seven ships made calls on Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
  • Welcoming the news, Chairman of the National Cruise Council, Michael Belnavis, said there is absolutely no doubt that Jamaica’s cruise shipping is now on par with any other destination in the region.

The ports of Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston will host a combined six cruise vessels on December 6, giving the island’s cruise-shipping industry another significant boost.

This will be the second time in the past four years that so many ships will be simultaneously calling on Jamaica. In 2012, a record seven ships made calls on Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.

In Ocho Rios, the ‘Norwegian Epic’ and Princess Cruises’ ‘Coral Princess’ will be making calls, while Montego Bay will see ‘Thomson Dream’ and ‘Aida Amar’. Falmouth will be hosting the second appearance of the world’s largest cruise ship, ‘Harmony of the Seas’, while Kingston will be welcoming the ‘Monarch’. This will be the biggest cruise ship to ever call on the capital city and the first time in three years that it will play host to one.

Welcoming the news, Chairman of the National Cruise Council, Michael Belnavis, said there is absolutely no doubt that Jamaica’s cruise shipping is now on par with any other destination in the region.

“Six ships in one day is a major feat by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that they will be spread out across the board, including Kingston, is very significant in terms of the trickle-down benefits to the people in those areas,” he said.

The Chairman said no praise is too high for the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), as the agency has been doing great work on behalf of the country.

“Under the leadership of Professor Gordon Shirley, the PAJ has been doing a wonderful job. In tandem with the Ministry of Tourism, the agency has been busy ensuring that infrastructural and beautification projects are being carried out in the resort towns, so as to enhance the tourism offerings,” he said.

Mr. Belnavis further noted that Jamaica currently plays host to the biggest cruise ships on the planet, pointing to the three Royal Caribbean Oasis-class luxury vessels – ‘Harmony of the Seas’, ‘Allure of the Seas’ and ‘Oasis of the Seas’ – as proof of the island’s growing status as a premier cruise destination.

“We also had Carnival, the world’s biggest cruise company, committing the newest and biggest ship in its fleet – ‘the Carnival Vista’ – to Ocho Rios starting last week,” Mr. Belnavis said.

“If we can get the resort town of Port Antonio in the mix, then we will have all our major cruise ports receiving ships. This would be a major plus for our craft traders, our ground-transportation operators, our restaurant and shop owners, and also everyone that depends on the cruise sector for a living,” he added.