Thursday, December 8, 2016

Business: Cruising into Kingston

Cruise shipping history was made today when the largest ever ship to dock at the port of Kingston sailed in at 6:00a.m. The 268m Pullmantur ship Monarch docked with 2,744 passengers on board. The ship sailed in from Cartagena, Columbia and was initially expected to call on Montego Bay, but with all berths full at that port, an alternative was sought.  

“All three cruise ports—Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth were scheduled to be at capacity today, so rather than lose the call of the Monarch, and noting that the ship was also coming from Cartagena which is a cultural capital much like Kingston, we saw this as a great opportunity. The Pullmantur team was very positive about redirecting the ship here and by all accounts the passengers themselves were pleased with the experience,” said William Tatham, Vice President, Cruise and Marina Operations, Port Authority of Jamaica. The visit of the Monarch, makes today the very first time that all four of Jamaica’s major ports were hosting cruise ships on the same day.

Passengers disembarked the ship for excursions to Dunn’s River Falls, Devon House, Bob Marley Museum, Kingston Craft Market, Fort Clarence, Tuff Gong Studios, and the National Gallery. “Kingston already has an interesting range of activities for the cruise ship passenger. The feedback we’ll receive from this Monarch visit will go a far way in helping us to refine our strategy for cruise possibilities in the future,” said Mr. Tatham.

Expectations are high for another record year for cruise arrivals. January to October 2016 period saw 1,313,841 cruise passenger arrivals at the three major ports, an increase of 109,609 passengers or 9.1%.

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