SeaWalk floating pier
The arrival also marked the first use of the port's SeaWalk floating pier. It is anchored to the port at one end and positioned and secured alongside the ship at the other end. This facilitates the berthing of vessels without dredging and the extensive infrastructure works typically required for a permanent pier.
The Marella Cruises passengers were treated to a fair of authentic Jamaican vibes, cuisine and music that augmented the natural heritage and culture offered by the historic town of Port Royal. The port’s courtyard buzzed with products and services from iconic Jamaican brands including Red Stripe Beer, Appleton Jamaica Rum and Devon House I-Scream.
Gateway to Kingston
The visitors experienced Jamaica on a number of tours, most to nearby Kingston that included a visit to the Bob Marley Museum, Trench Town Culture Yard and New Castle for a Blue Mountain coffee experience. Passengers also had a chance to experience the upgraded Fort Charles, managed by the Port Authority of Jamaica, where they were immersed in 17th century history and had the opportunity to visit the renowned Giddy House.
The introduction of cruise shipping to Port Royal and, by extension, Kingston, represents the achievement of an objective first contemplated more than 25 years ago.
Port Royal joins Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio, and it is anticipated this five-port array will further enhance the Cruise Jamaica brand.
The Port Authority of Jamaica said it built a cruise facility in Port Royal to fulfill three main objectives — creating economic and social benefits in collaboration with other government of Jamaica agencies, enhancing the historical assets of Port Royal for the benefit of Jamaicans and visitors and providing a gateway to the cultural capital of Kingston in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Further calls this season
Three more calls are scheduled for the remainder of the 2019/20 winter tourist season, one each in February, March and April. It is expected that construction works on the first phase of the new port development will be completed by the last call of the season.