Jamaica expects some 20 cruise ship calls before year-endTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has revealed that two cruise ships will call on the Ocho Rios Port in St Ann this week and that the island is expecting some 20 more vessels before year-end.
Underscoring the importance of the ships' calls on the island, Minister Bartlett says the latter is evidence of the growing demand for destination Jamaica and the success of efforts to reopen the tourism sector.
“Cruise shipping is critical to the recovery of the tourism sector, and we are seeing a welcomed return of vessels with the recognition that Jamaica's Resilient Corridors offer a safe environment for our visitors, tourism workers and the general population,” he expressed in a press release.
He added: “With the return of stop-over visitor arrivals since June 2020, we have been seeing steady growth towards pre-COVID-19 levels, and now that the cruise shipping industry is back on stream, we are looking forward to significant growth in our numbers."
Bartlett says Jamaica is well prepared for cruise ship calls as all the requirements have been put in place to meet both international and local Ministry of Health and Wellness COVID-19 protocols, and passengers are limited to moving within the Resilient Corridors.
Among the ships to call on Ocho Rios this week are the award-winning MSC Meraviglia which makes its return to the Port on Tuesday, September 21 for the "first of five calls up to November," Bartlett said.
He noted that although the ship's carrying capacity is approximately 7,000 passengers and crew, it will be docking with some 2,833 persons onboard due to COVID-19 protocols.
The MSC Meraviglia was the last cruise ship to dock in Jamaica in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing the closure of the island's international borders.
The other vessel setting sail for Jamaica, to also dock in Ocho Rios, is the Carnival Sunrise on its return trip on Wednesday, September 22.
The Carnival Sunrise was the first vessel to visit the island as Jamaica reopened to cruise tourism on Monday, August 16 and will be making some 11 calls up to December.