World's largest cruise ship docks at Falmouth port

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — With 6,400 passengers and a crew of 2,150, ‘Harmony of the Seas’, the largest cruise ship in the world, made its inaugural call to Jamaica on November 22, docking at the Falmouth port in Trelawny.
The third in the line of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-style luxury vessels, Harmony which for the past few months had been sailing the Mediterranean, became visible to the naked eye from as early as 6:30 am as it slowly approached the dock.
By approximately 7:15 am it was piloted safely into the port where a welcome party headed by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett was on hand.
From the moment the first set of passengers started pouring through the multiple exits at the pier, the streets became abuzz with excitement from the many onlookers who had gathered in anticipation of the ship’s arrival.
Minister Bartlett, who led a delegation on board to meet with Captain Johnny Faevelen and several members of his crew, described the visit of ‘Harmony of the Seas’ as a historic moment for Jamaica’s cruise-ship industry.
“This is an important addition to our cruise itinerary,” Bartlett told JIS News.
“This is the biggest sister in the Royal Caribbean fleet of luxury vessels, which includes ‘Oasis of the Seas’ and ‘Allure of the Seas’. To have all three coming here speaks volumes as to how we are viewed by that prestigious cruise line and to the kind of confidence they have in the port of Falmouth,” he noted.
Bartlett further pointed out that Falmouth being the largest port in the Caribbean and able to accommodate vessels of the size of ‘Harmony of the Seas’ bodes well for Jamaica as a port of call and also the future of the cruise industry.
“Our job is to ensure that when these 8,000-plus passengers and crew members come to our shores, we treat them with all the love and respect we are capable of and where they will want to come back for longer stays,” the tourism minister added.
“We have been doing business with Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines for decades and I can tell you that Jamaica is a very popular port of call. We, however, cannot just sit on our laurels and take things for granted. The competition with other destinations increases by the day, which is why we have to keep improving on things… (and) our offerings to the guests,” he noted further.
For his part, Captain Faevelen said it felt great leaving the Mediterranean for the warm waters of the Caribbean. He noted that he was pleasantly surprised at how sophisticated the facilities were at the Falmouth port, adding that he was happy to be a part of Harmony’s inaugural call in Jamaica.
“We are very pleased with the reception we have received. It is very obvious we are going to have a bright future here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Falmouth Garth Wilkinson said the town has been anticipating the visit of ‘Harmony of the Seas’ and is looking for a long and fruitful relationship with the cruise vessel.
“We are and have been in discussions with the Port Authority of Jamaica to do some major beautification work throughout the town,” he noted.
“The parish council will be doing its part to ensure we have a clean and beautiful town for our visitors,” he noted.

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