The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has disclosed to the Jamaica Observer that 50 cruise ships are expected to visit five ports in the island in the months of November and December 2021.
Professor Gordon Shirley, speaking during an interview with the Business Observer, said the ships would visit ports in Ocho Rios in St Ann, Montego Bay in St James, Port Antonio in Portland, Falmouth in Trelawny, and Port Royal, Kingston, in the coming weeks.
He also noted that expanded berthing at the port in Montego Bay, St James, will facilitate larger cruise ships which will start coming to the island in 2022.
The expansion of the Montego Bay cruise shipping pier was carried out on some 280,000 square feet of land space at a cost of JM$184 million.
In the past the island has pulled in revenue of US$10 million over the winter season from cruise lines and their visitors. The winter season runs from mid-December through mid-April.
Information from government sources is that the new, larger cruise ships will be visiting Caribbean and other ports courtesy of Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
The Ministry of Tourism is currently projecting 200,000 cruise passengers, representing 110 calls between October 2021 and April 2022.
The return of Royal Caribbean, notably in 2022, and with its Oasis Class vessels, would also mean that Jamaica could be receiving four of the biggest cruise ships ever to be built — Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and the biggest, Symphony of the Seas.
There is also the possibility that the vessel that would take over as the biggest ship in the world, Wonder of the Seas, and which will be ready to make its maiden voyage in 2022, could find its way into Jamaican territory later in that year, it was stated.
The world’s largest cruise ships carry gross tonnage in the region of 228,081 and can carry over 5,000 passengers.
The Port Authority sources indicated that Carnival Sunrise and MSC Meraviglia have been calling at the pier in Ocho Rios, St Ann, and will continue to do so over the following weeks.
The Port Royal cruise ship pier in Kingston, it was said, will see visits from the ultra-luxury cruise ships from Seabourn and Crystal Cruises and calls from Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam & Nieuw Amsterdam.
The pier at Falmouth, Trelawny, expects visits from Liberty of the Seas, Celebrity Reflection, and MSC Seashore. Montego Bay will see AIDAluna, AIDAdiva, and MSC Divina.
Port Antonio, Portland, which has the island’s smallest cruise port in Jamaica, has a scheduled visit from expedition cruise ship Scenic Eclipse.