Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
THE NORWEGIAN Epic, which is Norwegian Cruise Liners' (NCL) largest ship, will begin calling on Ocho Rios in 16 months time, in January 2014.
This was revealed by Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill as he addressed the annual general meeting of the Association of Jamaica Attractions Limited, at Jewel Dunn's River, Ocho Rios, on Saturday.
"There have been ongoing meetings with NCL and the Port Authority. NCL has agreed to increase their commitment to the port of Ocho Rios.
More specifically, starting in January 2014, the Norwegian Epic, which is NCL's largest ship, with a 4,500 passenger capacity, will be calling on Ocho Rios," McNeil stated.
The move is part of what McNeil said was an image upgrade for Ocho Rios, which is being rebranded under the theme 'Where Eden meets the Ocean'.
According to the NCL website, the Norwegian Epic, which was launched in 2010, represents innovations never before seen at sea until now, and has literally changed the face of cruise entertainment. It said the 19-deck vessel comes with 17 dining options among other things. It listed capacity at 4,200 and crew at 1,730.
The news come as the fall-off of visitor arrivals at Ocho Rios port continues to be negatively impacted by the newly built Port of Falmouth.