Falmouth Port has proven its worth - Bartlett
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has said the call of the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, at the Falmouth port in Trelawny recently, justifies the investment in the construction of the facility.
He noted that of the 1.7 million cruise passengers who visited Jamaica last year, 1.2 million came through the Falmouth port.
The facility, which opened in March 2011, involves a partnership between the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL).
It was built in anticipation of the growing demands of the cruise industry and the fact that ships are getting bigger.
The port has a variety of retail and duty-free shops, restaurants and excursion options.
The three largest cruise ships in the world - Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas, which are all owned by RCCL, will be making regular calls at the port during the winter.
Harmony recently docked at the port with 8,550 guests and crew.
COMPETING FOR CRUISES
Bartlett said that for Jamaica to compete as a cruise destination, it has to be able to accommodate mega liners such as Harmony of the Seas.
He noted that given its proximity to the home ports of Florida, Jamaica has become a year-round cruise destination and a mainstay on western Caribbean itineraries.
"We can now look back and say that the deal with RCCL to construct Falmouth was very significant," he said.
"Throughout this winter, it will be hosting the three largest cruise ships in the world, which would not have happened if we weren't proactive in our approach. For this, I want to single out the Port Authority and its leadership for their vision," he added.