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Jamaica welcomes first cruise ship in Port Royal

Port Royal welcomed its first cruise ship to its newly renovated cruise port terminal in Jamaica this morning, January 20.

The Marella II at the Port Royal Cruise terminal (Photo: Instagram: @andrewholnessjm)

The Marella Discovery II arrived at the port at approximately 8:09AM, almost half hour past its scheduled time.

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said approximately 2,000 passengers are aboard the ship which was greeted by scores of residents battling the inclement weather to witness the historic moment.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (center) leads a delegation to welcome the arrival of Port Royal’s first cruise ship. (Photo: Instagram: @andrewholnessjm

Port Royal is one of the country’s most famous towns, with a storied past that includes being the center of piracy in the 17th century which gave it the unenviable title as the “wickedest city on earth”.

The town’s glory days came to a sudden end when a major earthquake and tsunami in June 1692 resulted in much of the area being sunken in the sea and killing some 2,000 people.

The Marella II docking at the Port Royal cruise terminal earlier today.
(Photo: Instagram: portauthorityja)

Last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness described the town as a national asset while adding that it will not become a “free-for-all”.

“It is not going to be a place for hustlers and thugs and people to come to harass, it has to be a place of order. It will also be a place where not just visitors from overseas will have the opportunity to enjoy the experience, but we want Jamaicans to enjoy the experience as well,” Holness said.

The development of the cruise ship terminal is being led by the Port Authority of Jamaica.