Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Cruise shipping on the cards for Kingston

Published:Thursday | December 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
CEO of Kingston Wharves Limited Grantley Stephenson (right) explains a map of the port facility to minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, during a tour of Kingston Wharves on Thursday, October 27.

Cruise shipping could return to the Kingston Harbour on a regular basis, Dr Horace Change, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic growth and Job Creation, has disclosed, following the recent docking of the Monarch of the Seas, which was a chance encounter and the first time in three years that the capital city was hosting a cruise ship.

"If we can be assured of regular visits, some adjustments will be done. It doesn't mean we are going to move the port from here, but you'll have to make some adjustments on the sea side to ensure that the two activities can proceed smoothly," Dr Chang told The Gleaner. He was responding to queries about the potential for cruise liners to start visiting again.

Meanwhile, Grantley Stephenson, CEO of Kingston Wharves Limited, said infrastructure changes at the world's seventh-deepest natural harbour to facilitate cargo and cruise shipping on a sustained basis would not be significant and hinted that preparations were under way for such a venture.

"Yes, we would have to do some organisation. It's not significant and it's something we are willing, ready and able to do. Some changes are already taking place and starting next year, we are going to be rebuilding some additional berths so that the two activities could co-exist very easily," he told The Gleaner.

"We'll have 1,700 metres of berth, that's more than a mile. So we have no challenge in accommodating these ships, and both of the activities taking place simultaneously. We would have to make some minor adjustments as to how the containers and the cars are laid out to facilitate the smooth flow of buses and all the traffic associated with the cruise ship, but that is easy," the Kingston Wharves Limited CEO further explained.