Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Carnival's biggest cruise ship for Ocho Rios October

Published:Friday | May 25, 2018 | 7:05 AM
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in discussion with Micky Arison (left), chairman of Carnival Corporation, while looking on are Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation, Arnold Donald (centre), Senior Vice President of Global Port & Destination Development, Giora Israel (right) and Senior Advisor/ Strategist, Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright. Bartlett handed over the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Ministry of Tourism (Jamaica) Global Legend of the Caribbean Award to Arison at Carnival’s headquarters in Miami, Florida in January of this year.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that the biggest and newest Carnival branded ship for the world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Corporation, Horizon, will commence calls on Ocho Rios, St Ann on October 2.

Bartlett made the announcement onboard Carnival Horizon's official inauguration and naming ceremony New York City on Wednesday. American celebrity and Grammy award-winning artiste Queen Latifah officially inaugurated the ship and was named its ‘Godmother’.

Bartlett noted that, “Jamaica is an amazing destination and we are absolutely happy that Carnival’s newest and biggest ship, Horizon, will commence calls on Ocho Rios in coming months. Jamaica will continue to be a well-positioned destination for cruise. "

The second ship in the Vista class, the Carnival Horizon is currently Carnival’s largest ship and the 26th ship in the Carnival fleet. It is also the 102nd cruise ship operated by the brands of Carnival Corporation.

Tourism Ministry Senior Advisor/Strategist, Delano Seiveright, who was also in attendance, noted that, “the 3,900-plus passenger and 1,450 crew ship will be a great addition to our tourism product. The ministry, it’s agencies and tourism partners are keen on further increasing foot traffic into Ocho Rios and its environs given the broad range of attractions and activities on hand there. Tourists are very happy with the range of things to do”.

Chairman of Carnival Corporation, Micky Arison, earlier this year at a meeting with Bartlett, Seiveright and other tourism officials at Carnival’s Miami, Florida headquarters, said that Jamaica is poised for strong growth, “as the destination continues to be one of the best and most diversified in the world".

Bartlett further commented that, "more coordinated efforts are being made at ensuring that linkages are deepened so that more money from cruise visitors filters to more hands throughout the economy. Afterall 2017 Cruise passenger visits were 11 per cent higher than in 2016 and gross earnings from cruise passenger spend in 2017 was US$179 million up 19 per cent from US$150 million in 2016, we have a lot more room for growth and development".

Carnival Horizon offers amenities like the bike-ride-in-the-sky aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, the Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool, and Family Harbor, with roomier accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge.

The Port Authority of Jamaica, which manages the cruise ports, is overseeing the upgrade of cruise ports to enhance their capacity to receive the largest cruise ships.