The Nieuw Statendam, the largest cruise ship to ever visit Port Royal, arrived Thursday morning with 1,300 passengers aboard the luxury cruise line Holland America. The Jamaica Ports Authority has been working hard to get all cruise ports up and running before the end of the year since Ocho Rios opened just a few weeks ago.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the island’s tourism industry and the return of cruise ships such as the Pinnacle Class Nieuw Statendam will contribute to recovery efforts.
Providing new opportunities in Kingston
Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, has always been underestimated as a cruise port of call. Ports like Ocho Rios receive the majority of cruise tourists. However, Port Royal in particular has more than enough to offer on its own. Local officials are hoping they can demonstrate something with the appeal of the Seattle-based Holland America Line cruise ship.
PAJ’s Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Kimberley Stiff:
“This will be an opportunity for Port Royal, and by extension Kingston, to showcase its sought-after heritage, culture, entertainment and other unique offerings that set its cruise line experience apart from any other,” she noted.
Also read: Jamaica Cruise Ship Traffic Rises to Six Ships in One Week
The ship called at Port Royal on November 25, the day after its first stop in Jamaica on November 24 at Ocho Rios. Something that was done with meticulous planning and preparation, especially to keep everyone safe.
âThe anticipation is great here at Port Royal and as we have done in Ocho Rios, Port Antonio and Falmouth, we expect everything to go as well and as smoothly as possibleâ¦ with all health protocols and security monitored “, Mrs Stiff added.
A season of premieres
Nieuw Statendam departed Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, on Sunday, November 21. She is currently on a 7-day trip which, in addition to Port Royal and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, stops at Nassau and Half Moon Cay, the company’s award-winning private island. .
The ship is the fifth cruise ship in the Holland America fleet to resume operations in 2021. Passenger vessel 2666 will sail in the Caribbean until April 2022, which includes stops in Jamaica for cruises ranging from 7 to 11 days, sailing to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.
In December, Nieuw Statendam will also be the first cruise ship to call in the Cayman Islands. During its cruise departing at the end of September, the ship will have to comply with a wide variety of health and safety measures developed to ensure the safety of all; however, she is, so far, the first and only cruise ship to be approved.
As for Jamaica, cruise ship traffic will increase even more in the coming weeks as the five cruise ports become operational. The island expects more than 100 ships from Carnival Corporation ships, while Royal Caribbean has previously hinted at the stationing of several Oasis Classes at ports within the country. So far, four of the six cruise ports are operational, with the other two scheduled to reopen soon.