Jamaica’s new port will increase cruise ship capacity
The opening of the historically themed cruise port at Falmouth, Jamaica, in early 2011 will provide the island with both a historic port of call and a local economic engine, according to John Tercek, vice president of commercial development at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., who recently led journalists on a tour of the site. There cruise passengers will find a convenient starting point for excursions to tourism centers in either Montego Bay or Ocho Rios.
While the three-year-old project has experienced delays, marine construction and the dredging of the port’s sea floor are nearly complete, said Tercek. “We have dredged one-and-a-half million cubic meters of material, which will be used to create an esplanade and plaza.” The building construction phase will begin shortly, he noted.
The $170 million port project will host its first ship, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, in January. The Falmouth project is the result of a partnership between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), and will provide the cruise line with another port capable of accommodating the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship.
“Our new Oasis-class design requires new infrastructure in our transit ports,” said Tercek. “This is an opportunity to improve ports while expanding infrastructure. At the same time, we will enhance the guest experience and improve general portside logistics.”
The port will increase Jamaica’s cruise ship capacity from four large ships each day to six, with two in Ocho Rios, two in Montego Bay, and two in Falmouth, which is located in Jamaica’s Trelawny parish. Furthermore, the port’s strategic location allows cruise passengers to take shore excursions in either of Jamaica’s two main tourism areas, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.