Left to right: Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, Governor Dr. Eugene Holiday and Rainforest Adventures president Josef Preschel during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Rockland Estate (Image: Carnival Corporation)
Carnival Corporation and Rainforest Adventures have officially opened the new Rockland Estate eco-adventure park in St. Maarten, providing a new shore excursion for cruise guests who visit the Caribbean island.
Financed by Carnival Corporation, Rockland Estate is located on the historic Emilio Wilson Estate a short ride from St. Maarten’s Port of Philipsburg Cruise Terminal. It offers various attractions, including the Flying Dutchman, the world’s steepest zip line; the Soualiga Sky Explorer chair lift; the 1,600-foot, four-span Sentry Hill Zip Line; a mountain-side tube ride; and a series of walkways and viewing platforms encircling the top of Sentry Hill and showcasing 360-degree vistas of St. Maarten, Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius and Anguilla. The estate also boasts the Emilio Wilson Museum, which was originally built as a plantation home in the 1700s and outlines the story of St. Maarten pioneer and preservationist Emilio Wilson. Displays also highlight the island’s history and culture.
The estate will be included as a shore excursion option on itineraries for eight of Carnival Corporation’s brands.
“We are proud to be part of the Rockland Estate development, and we are excited that this new attraction will surely become a bucket-list item for visitors to the island, whether they’re looking to take in incredible views, experience one-of-a-kind rides or gain perspective on the rich history and culture of the island,” said David Candib, vice president of development and operations for the global port and destination development group at Carnival Corporation. “St. Maarten is already a beloved destination by guests across our eight cruise line brands that visit the island, and we’re confident that Rockland Estate will create an even more compelling reason to visit the country on a cruise vacation.”
Rainforest Adventures and Carnival Corporation built Rockland Estate as an eco-adventure park and are committed to preserving native eco-systems, while ensuring the sustainability of the estate’s physical attributes. The overall goal of the Rainforest Adventures team was to enhance and preserve St. Maarten’s natural and built environments and endorse its cultural and historical significance, while also promoting education through adventure.
“In constructing the park, one of our goals was to uphold our commitment to environmental conservation, with less than 5% of the Emilio Wilson Estate impacted by the new Rockland Estate eco-adventure park,” said Josef Preschel , president of Rainforest Adventures. “Our other key goal is to educate visitors on the importance of ongoing conservation in this area and to celebrate local history and culture, while also providing thrilling rides and relaxing activities.”
It is hoped that Rockland Estate will help to attract more cruise visitors, and other tourists, to St. Maarten.
“Rockland Estate is one of the most important attraction developments in St. Maarten in a decade, and we are confident that it will boost tourism,” said Cornelius de Weever, acting minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications for St. Maarten. “We’re excited for more and more visitors to experience all that the park has to offer – from a look into the rich history of St. Maarten to exciting rides that provide breath-taking views of the island.”
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