Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

9 4 CARIBBEAN: INTERV IEW There are many good reasons for cruise ships to visit the island of Jamaica more than once in an itinerary, says William Tatham, vice president of cruise shipping and marina operations for the Port Authority of Jamaica. Montego Bay offers homeporting and port of call opportunities for most of the biggest cruise lines and is the gateway to the famous beaches of Negril and the rum estates of the South Coast. Meanwhile, the Port of Falmouth’s joint venture with Royal Caribbean Group, which opened in 2010, has tailor-made facilities for very large ships; Ocho Rios, the “crown” of the island, gives access to some of the island’s most renowned natural attractions; the boutique cruise port of Port Antonio combines glimpses of history and Hollywood; and the new Port Royal is of archeological importance due to a preserved underwater city that sank during a catastrophic earthquake in 1692. The latter port is also close to Kingston, the birthplace of reggae music, which is where Bob Marley grew up, making it a major attraction for many cruise guests. “Because of the size of the island, Jamaica tends to be very different in its makeup,” says Tatham. “The small port of Port Antonio in the northeast is the lushest part of the island with rain forests, rivers and waterfalls, and smaller cove type beaches – in fact, the latest James Bond film was filmed there.” Ocho Rios boasts the nearby famous waterfalls of Dunns River Falls, as well as Mystic Mountain, which has a bobsled that goes through the rainforest, and Dolphin Cove, where guests can swim with dolphins. In contrast, “Falmouth is built for the very big ships and there’s a lot to be seen, such as Green Grotto Caves, where slaves hid after running away, and where the Spanish hid when they were leaving Jamaica after the British invaded,” says Tatham. Port Royal, the newest of the Jamaican ports, is “probably the most historic location in the Caribbean”, says Tatham. “That’s why when we developed the cruise port, we selected an area that didn’t need to be dredged so we would protect the sunken city. We also implemented the Western Hemisphere’s first Seawalk system, which is used in the fjords of Norway and Sweden. The dock actually floats out and meets the ship.” With so much to choose from, there is strong interest from cruise lines in taking up the offer of two calls per itinerary. Tatham explains: “Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line both Twice the fun in Jamaica Although Jamaica has five highly diverse cruise ports, cruise lines have traditionally only visited one per itinerary. William Tatham tells Michele Witthaus how that’s set to change as several cruise lines plan double calls