Jamaica is investing heavily in facilities, hoping to keep up with the increase in ships and visitors.
In an effort to keep up with the Record Growth in the Cruise Line Industry, Infrastructure changes in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth Jamaica are currently in progress. Port Antonio is seeing a banner year of small ships and Port Royal is about to become a major new cruise destination in the Caribbean.
Port Royal is a village located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. It was once the largest city in the Caribbean, functioning as the centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea by the latter half of the 17th century. Although due to Pop Culture, and a series of popular “Pirate” movies, Port Royal has been known as the place where Pirates from around the world congregate. So, the movies themselves are purely entertainment, there is apparently a hint of historical fact……
After a 1692 disaster in which it was destroyed by an earthquake on June 7, 1692, which subsequently was hit by an accompanying tsunami,
Port Royal’s commercial role was steadily taken over by the nearby town (and later, city) of Kingston. Plans were developed in 1999 to redevelop the small fishing town as a heritage tourism destination to serve cruise ships. It could capitalize on its unique heritage, with archaeological findings from pre-colonial and privateering years as the basis of possible attractions. Officials wanted to build on that, and nearby Port Royal, offering a more walkable experience and superior staging areas for busses, was a natural choice.
No tendering needed here! A new state-of-the-art Floating Pier will allow Ships to Dock at Port Royal, placing cruisers at the heart of this new Jamaican destination. the plan is to be able to accommodate mid-sized ships as early as 2019.
The new facility would be a marquee port, offering something new, officials hope. Port Royal’s traffic will be limited to one cruise ship at a time, and only Mid Sized ships. So, this is good news for some of Carnival’s Fantasy class ships which come in at 90,000 GRT or less. This includes ships such as the Miracle, Victory, Triumph, Paradise, Elation, and more……
This will be an exciting addition to Caribbean Sailings, and for those that enjoy smaller ships, as you will have access to this exciting new port.
In Falmouth, dredging will allow the port to accommodate two Oasis-class (RCCL) sized vessels, which would include the New [as of yet un-named] Carnival ships Launching in 2020 and 2022, which will be 180,000 GRT…….Soon to be the Largest Carnival Cruise Ships!
Significant investments will be going in to upgrade the shore side experience, Focussed on the town center. A new craft market will be complemented by a larger market. There are also ongoing projects to improve the roads and pedestrian access.
Montego Bay continues to attract European cruise lines and is a popular tourist destination featuring duty-free shopping. It has one large terminal for Larger Ships, and a second smaller facility for
Mid-sized ships and smaller. Due to ever-increasing ship sizes, future plans call for creating a second large cruise terminal, by moving the port’s cargo operation and merging the smaller facility into the existing cargo space.
In Ocho Rios, the transformation of Reynolds’s Pier will be finished later this year, allowing it to take large ships. A local fisherman’s village located near the berths is being turned into a more attractive area for tourists, and there are ongoing development plans to create a waterside promenade into town in time for the 2018-2019 season.
Cruise lines have doubled down on calling in Jamaica, sometimes combining multiple ports in the country. At times having more than 1 ship in port at a time. Local officials are hoping the improvements across the country’s ports, combined with the new Port Royal marquee destination, will keep Jamaica top a prominent cruise destination for years to come.
Carnival’s Breeze, Dream, Freedom, Glory, Horizon, Miracle, and Vista all currently have sailings to Jamaica. Are you booked yet?
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