Hasani Walters, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), has come on board to endorse the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise. The first of its kind, the cruise is a five-night voyage being spearheaded by Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The state-of-the-art Norwegian Pearl cruiseship will set sail October 20, 2014 from Miami, Florida with stops in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios before its return on October 25.
According to a release, a host of top reggae musicians will be performing aboard the ship.
Among them, Jr Gong, Stephen 'Ragga' Marley, Julian Marley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Etana, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Busy Signal, Morgan Heritage, Jo Mersa, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Ellis, and Black-Am-I. More acts are to be announced at a later date.
Not only will there be live concerts with these artistes, but popular sound systems and deejays such as David Rodigan, Stone Love, Renaissance, and Mighty Crown will be present.
Several other entertainment events will be planned to satisfy the appetite of reggae lovers.
"As the home of reggae, Jamaica is proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural Jamrock Reggae Cruise. This is a wonderful opportunity for music lovers to get immersed in the rich history of Jamaican music. The JTB will be on board to promote the island's diverse offerings which are available for visitors to enjoy. The cruise will serve as an opportunity to whet the appetite of reggae music lovers to visit and explore the birthplace of reggae," said John Lynch, Jamaica's director of tourism, in the release.
The entity will play an essential role in spreading the word to the masses.
Grammy-winning entertainer Sean Paul, who recently collaborated with Jr Gong on Riot and is one of the acts to perform on the cruise, told The Sunday Gleaner that Marley had first pitched the idea to him a long time ago. He thinks it's a great idea that can help to popularise artistes and the genre in a major way.
The 294-meter Norwegian Pearl has a capacity of 2,394 passengers and boasts many attractions such as 16 dining options, 13 bars and lounges, a casino, spa, pools, a fitness centre, children's centres and discotheques.
Cabins for the cruise can be booked at: http://welcometojamrockreggaecruise.com.