Jamaica on course to welcome 300,000 cruise passengers by year end - BartlettSaturday, October 30, 2021
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has posited that the scheduled return of cruise shipping across the island's ports in mid-November, is a strong vote of confidence by major international stakeholders in brand Jamaica.
“Our tourism industry is quickly recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arrival figures are climbing, airlift for the winter season is looking good, and the winter cruise schedule will be very busy, with an uptick in November,” said Bartlett.
He noted that this turn of events will see multiple ships docking in Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Port Antonio.
Some of the cruise lines scheduled to visit Jamaica include The World, a boutique cruise line for Port Antonio; Carnival Sunrise, Norwegian Gem, MSC Meraviglia, AIDA diva, among others, for Ocho Rios; and the Emerald Princess for the Port of Falmouth.
“Cruise is an integral part of our tourism product and an important driver in terms of visitor arrivals and expenditure. Thousands of Jamaicans depend on the cruise shipping industry,” Bartlett stated.
The minister confirmed that Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise line, has committed to sending 110 or more cruises (200,000 cruise ship passengers), by its various brands, to the island between October 2021 and April 2022.
“Royal Caribbean International, the second largest cruise line in the world, will resume limited operations to Jamaica in November of this year. Also, cruise executives reiterated a strong desire to employ thousands of Jamaicans across a wide range of jobs and are awaiting government regulatory amendments to make it a reality,” said Bartlett.
He anticipates that by the end of the year, just under 300,000 cruise passengers will visit Jamaica.
“We have been heavily marketing Port Royal to our international investors during our various marketing engagements overseas. During our meeting with TUI, they disclosed several planned visits and calls on the Port Royal Cruise Port, starting in January,” the minister said.
“We expect to have five calls from January through April 2022 in Port Royal. We have also been in discussion with key partners in Dubai regarding plans to also invest in the tourism product in Port Royal,” he disclosed.
He further noted that several cruise lines are scheduled to dock at Port Royal this season.
These, he said, include Nieuw Statendam and Nieuw Amsterdam of Holland, America Cruise Line, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Ovation and Royal Spirit of Adventure from Saga Cruises.