After a hiatus of almost 20 months, the coastal town of Falmouth, Trelawny, welcomed its first cruise ship on Sunday 14 November.
Carnival Corporation’s Emerald Princess, with some 2,780 passengers and crew, entered Jamaica’s largest port around 6:45 a.m., where it was greeted by local officials and health officials.
After routine checks and ensuring strict adherence to established health protocols, passengers were allowed to disembark and board waiting buses for approved tours of designated locations.
“This is something that we hope to see several times in the coming months,” said delighted Falmouth mayor Colin Gager.
âThis is a gradual return to cruising in Falmouth and we welcome it with open arms. We look forward to the full return of cruising navigation to the parish, as this will bring economic benefits to residents and our many stakeholders, âhe added.
Mayor Gager said the visit to Emerald of the Seas is a prelude to what’s to come for historic Falmouth.
âWe have yet to see the deployment of Royal Caribbean and its Oasis Class shipsâ¦ some of the biggest ships in the world. This is a list that includes Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and of course, the biggest [currently] âSymphony of the seas. And let’s not forget, there’s another one that could make its way into Jamaican waters and here in Falmouth next year – the newest and biggest – Wonder of the Seas, âhe said. He underlines.
Mayor Gager noted that Royal Caribbean, which together with Carnival Cruise Lines owns the world’s largest ships, is not only a long-time partner of Jamaica, but is also a major shareholder in the Port of Falmouth.
âIt’s easy to see why they would have any interest in wanting to bring their ships here. We have the largest port in Jamaica and we can accommodate their huge Oasis class ships, âhe noted.
Handicrafts trader Raymond Gordon, who spoke to JIS News, said he was delighted to see the ships returning to Falmouth.
âWe have been hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and naturally the ships have stayed away. I see this as a sign of hope and for better things to come, âhe said.
The Jamaica Ports Authority (PAJ), for its part, also welcomes the return of cruises to Falmouth and other Jamaican ports.
President and CEO (CEO) Professor Gordon Shirley said in a statement that the entity welcomes the strong interest in the Jamaica destination that cruise enthusiasts around the world have shown.
He said this was demonstrated “by the inclusion of our cruise ports on major cruise line itineraries despite new COVID-19 cruise operations protocols and as evidenced by our recent World Travel Awards and United Kingdom (United Kingdom) Wave Price â.
âThere is great value to be gained from an award-winning cruise destination like Jamaica and we [the PAJ] are even more hopeful that because of the investments the organization has made in cruise infrastructure this year, calls for next year’s season will exceed those forecast for this year, âhe added.
Celebrity Equinox, Aida Diva and Crystal Serenity are expected to return to Falmouth later this month. A visit to Disney Cruise Lines’ flagship ship, Disney Fantasy, is scheduled for December.