Ship Ahoy!
Passengers disembark theNieuw Statendam in PortRoyal on Thursday.
The Nieuw Statendam arrives

The Nieuw Statendam from luxury cruise line Holland America made port at the Historic Naval Dockyard, Port Royal, yesterday.

The vessel is the largest cruise ship to date to visit Port Royal with capacity of approximately 3,000 passengers, but came at 50-60 per cent capacity in accordance with the ship's COVID-19 protocols.

The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has secured a number of calls for the upcoming season which signals an uptick in cruise shipping activities across all cruise ports islandwide.

Cruise shipping is one of the PAJ's core business segments which contributes significantly to the Jamaican economy, the agency stated in a release.

“The success of many sectors, small and medium-sized businesses as well as entrepreneurs are dependent on the viability of cruise shipping. Several professional and stakeholder groups benefit from cruise operations as the industry plays an integral role in the sustainability of their livelihoods.”

Kimberley Stiff, assistant vice-president, marketing communications, said, “the PAJ is presently pursuing stakeholder engagements as we continue to host a series of meetings to apprise various interest groups and the communities in which we operate of the status of the restart of cruise operations in preparation for the start of the upcoming season”.

The PAJ is working closely with the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MoHW) as well as the Ministry of Tourism and its select agencies to ensure a safe and secure return to cruise operations at all ports to enable a general restart by early December 2021.

The PAJ, with the guidance and support from the MoHW, has also been systematically devising and implementing mechanisms and solutions to ensure a safe and secure restart of the cruise shipping sector within the COVID-19 operational context.

In a release, the PAJ stated, “Our state-of-art, modernised world-class cruise ports and facilities contribute significantly to our attractiveness and favourable global stature which, in tandem with the allure of our cruise product, continues to enjoy global acclaim.” Among several awards received by the PAJ is Best Destination Award (Port of Country) by the United Kingdom's Wave Awards.

The Holland America luxury cruise ship, the Nieuw Statendam,is the largest ship to ever dock in Port Royal, with capacity ofapproximately 3,000 passengers, plus crew.

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