Ship makes historic visit to Portland

Ship makes historic visit to Portland

Sunday, November 03, 2019

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PORT ANTONIO, Portland — When the Seabourn Sojourn docked at the Ken Wright Pier in the Errol Flynn Marina here Friday morning with 450 passengers and a crew of over 300 it was its inaugural visit to this eastern Jamaican town.

It even meant more to Captain Hamish Elliott who is originally from western Jamaica. “We are so excited to be here, it is not often that we come to somewhere that is new for the ship, new for the company, it is a great place we come to today and everybody is so excited,” the captain said.

“The passengers I spoke to going off the gangway and the ship's crew are really looking forward to having a good time here. When we arrived and they saw the beautiful spot that we arrived in, you could feel the mood and excitement around the ship. It's the first time; hopefully it's not the last time here and we'll be back again and again. It's gonna be a fantastic day for everyone on-board,” Elliott said.

Deputy Mayor of Port Antonio Rohan Vassell welcomed the captain and vessel to the town and told them: “Port Antonio is where tourism started and we wish that you will come back. We are happy that you have come and we are committed to getting Port Antonio and the parish to where tourism was and beyond. We desire for you to return at any time and enjoy our shores and attractions,” he said.

Welcome was also extended by the Port Authority of Jamaica, the Portland Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Tourist Board and agent Lannaman and Morris Shipping Ltd. There were also plaque exchanges.

Lincoln Williams, the captain's stepfather was on-board and was delighted. “This is a very special day for me as well. Hamish at the age of seven decided that he wanted to go to sea and he always say to me he wants to be a captain. His grandfather was a captain of a ship and he wanted to do the same thing. I was born in Savanna-la-mar, lived at Petersfield, left at the age of 12, came back at the age of 14 and have now come back to receive my stepson back here as captain of the ship.

“I was reminding him the last time he was here in Jamaica of the picture I have of him and I was pleased he came in the right way up this morning, as it is a very tight turn to get in here (Port Antonio Harbour). When he was here the last time all I remember of him is his feet upside down in the water. Every time we look out at sea he was upside down in the water, that's how he spends most of his time. It's a really special day for us to have him here as the captain of the ship as he is still connected to Jamaica,” Williams said, emotionally.

– Everard Owen

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