'Captain Hook' docks in Falmouth
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Calico Jack, one of the most notorious and feared pirates to sail Jamaican waters, has returned to the country's 18th-century commercial capital, Falmouth.
Jack, and his favourite cronies, including Jack Sparrow, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, on Saturday unveiled the island's newest maritime attraction, Captain Hook, at the historic Falmouth Pier in Trelawny.
Captain Hook is an authentic pirate dinner show, celebrating a rich aspect of Jamaica's heritage - the pirates. Its sister boat is operated in Cancun, Mexico.
"I am more delighted to be launching this latest attraction than if we were opening some huge hotel in Falmouth," stated Prime Minister Bruce Golding in his speech to the intimate gathering on hand to welcome the new investors, Luis Reynoso and Paco Pujol.
Elated about venture
Having urged his Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett to find investors capable of adding a marquee attraction to the menu of options that currently exist on the island, Golding said he was elated about this new venture.
"We are involved in a very competitive industry where people have so many choices, so we have to be constantly positioning ourselves," he said, suggesting further that the millions of visitors who visit our shores are not prepared to be locked up in their hotel rooms.
Built in Spain in 1986, the Galleon of Captain Hook is an exact replica of an 18th-century Spanish Galleon. The 93-foot boat has the capacity to host some 300 passengers. Representing the ancient history of pirates, combined with the luxury and sophistication of 21st century technology, Captain Hook sails daily at 6:30pm, returning at 9:30 p.m.
Suggesting that Captain Hook's investors could have chosen any number of themes, Golding described the attraction as remarkable.
"This story is so much a part of our culture," asserts Golding.
Currently, Jamaica has more attractions that all other Caribbean islands combined. With Captain Hook's addition, the country now boasts 170 attractions on the book, says Bartlett.
"This is a critical hook to drive arrivals into the country. Revenues will go up if visitors spend more," Bartlett added, while noting that in the last three years, some US$20 million has been invested in new attractions.
Captain Hook's exciting pirate show features live canons, sword fights, contests, entertainment and dancing with a true Jamaican flavour.
As Captain Hook prepares to defend his vessel against Calico Jack and his ship, guests enjoy a delicious buffet dinner.
State-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment enhanced the special effects used to create a thrilling pirate attack enjoyed by guests of all ages.