The Emerald Princess docked at the Port of Falmouth on November 14 with 1,700 passengers and 1,719 crew members on board, the first cruise ship to call there in more than a year.
The luxury vessel’s arrival is being described by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett as a boost to the recovery of the sector which is set to welcome 75,000 cruise arrivals during the next two months. In total, 300,000 cruise passengers are booked to arrive in Jamaica for this year’s winter tourist season.
“This will enable the industry to bounce back and [get] the partners — transportation, shopping, which includes craft vendors and so on — back in business,” the minister told LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
However he was quick to stress that as the country’s cruise and wider tourism sectors move toward full recovery, every effort must be made to follow the protocols put in place to keep locals employed to the sector and visitors safe.
“We are not out of the woods and vaccination and testing are going to have a feature of our management process as we move forward. I am urging stakeholders to comply with the requirements of the protocols and to get vaccinated as it is going to be increasingly difficult for participation of unvaccinated and untested players,” Bartlett urged.
“Cruise tourism is the most sensitive to health and other disruptions. And it doesn’t take much for redeployment of cruise ships to other destinations if Jamaicans are not compliant. We just want everybody to know that this is not over, we have a long way to go,” he added.
Text: Horace Hines
Photo: Philp Lemonte