MoBay winds blow top-flight cruise ship back to Kingston
For the second time in a year, the Port of Kingston will host a top flight-cruise vessel when the MS Monarch makes an unscheduled visit to the capital city today.
The vessel, formerly known as Monarch of the Seas and operated under Royal Caribbean's Pullmantur brand, previously called on Kingston on December 6 last year.
The ship, which has a carrying capacity of 2,700 guests plus an additional 900 crew members, will dock with 1,953 passengers.
William Tatham, vice-president, cruise shipping and marina operations at the Port Authority of Jamaica, said that the MS Monarch was originally slated to dock in Montego Bay in St James but had to be diverted due to weather conditions in the western city.
"Montego Bay is currently experiencing high winds and high seas, making berthing very difficult," he said.
"We are still fortunate, however, that the Monarch wasn't diverted to another island and opted to remain here in Jamaica. It is also another plus for Kingston and the trickled-down benefits it will bring, especially to our attractions, craft traders, and licensed taxi operators."
Tatham said that tours of historic locations in and around Kingston, including the Kingston Craft Market, Devon House, and the Bob Marley Museum, have been planned for the passengers.
"We are better prepared this time around as we have learnt a lot from the last Kingston visit," Tatham added.
"We are better able to mobilise as we will have both the organised tour operators and also our local licensed operators, some 50 of them, on standby to take our visitors to our beautiful attractions here in Kingston."
He said that the Port Authority, Kingston Wharves, and other stakeholders are collaborating to ensure a successful call, noting that this would open up future opportunities for the Port of Kingston.