The 'Quest for the Adventure' cruise ship docked overnight at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio last Wednesday on its way to Costa Rico, bringing much excitement to this laid-back resort town in Portland which is welcoming its first ship of the year.
The cruise ship with its more than 300 passengers was expected on Thursday but came in a day early to give the visitors more time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the parish capital.
Captain of the 'Quest for the Adventure' Cornelis Speckman expressed delight at returning to the town, having sailed vessels there on two previous occasions.
"I am very glad to be here," Speckman said, as he reminisced on his last visit when two crew members got married on the beach.
He added further," we are very happy to come to this port. It is a lovely little port and this is very special to get close to a lovely promenade, lovely beach, lovely amenities, handy for tourist, it's a perfect little port for cruise ship."
He also expressed gratitude that the town was able to accommodate their early arrival.
"When we came in we could smell Jamaica, the food and the lovely cooking," he mused.
Port Antonio operators at the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) were equally elated about the increased business as they transported visitors to the various attractions such as Reich Falls, Sommerst Falls and rafting on the Rio Grande.
Craft vendors who were located outside the pier did brisk business with the tourists, in particularly those from Europe. Other business operators in the town also benefited from the arrivals as the tourists milled around making a few purchases here and there.
Representatives of the Jamaica Tourist Board and the local media were also treated to a tour of the ship.
A second cruise ship is expected to call at that port this Thursday.