The Naval Dockyard at Port Royal is scheduled to receive at least 10 cruise-ship calls between January and March 2022. Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Assistant Vice President, Marketing Communications at the Port Authority of Jamaica, Kimberley Stiff, said that in preparation for the visits, the PAJ is working towards having as many persons as possible within the industry vaccinated.
“That is the quickest way to return to normalcy as well as to ensure seamless and safe operations at the port,” she said.
She noted that the Port Authority partnered with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to ensure that various stakeholders, community members, vendors, artisans, and others were able to receive their first or second shots, at a blitz held in preparation of the call of the Nieuw Statendam in November.
The Holland Americas vessel, which was making its maiden visit to Port Royal, was the first cruise vessel of its size to call at a port in Kingston, Miss Stiff told JIS News.
She noted that this would have signalled to cruise interests that Port Royal is able to accommodate larger vessels.
This is significant, she pointed out, as the larger-sized ships bring in more passengers “to patronise locals and… support trade and commerce and other activities – entertainment, cultural and heritage initiatives”.
The port development is being executed on a phased basis, with phase two, which comprises a museum and restaurant area, currently under construction and scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of this year.
Miss Stiff told JIS News that the overall development of Port Royal is being undertaken through a multi-stakeholder approach, which is being led by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), with the Port Authority having responsibility for the development of port-related assets such as Fort Charles, which is under the entity’s direct management.
“Notwithstanding, we try to support the initiatives within the community in terms of planning direct tours from the port into the town,” she said. Cruise-ship visitors to Kingston can enjoy various tours around the city such as the very popular Blue Mountain Tour, the Bob Marley Museum Tour, Statue Park Tour and the Trench Town Culture Yard Tour.