Jamaica celebrates grand opening of the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port

Jamaica welcomed the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas yesterday (March 22, 2011), marking the grand opening of the much-anticipated Historic Falmouth Cruise Port. The 32-acre, two-berth pier, a US$213 million project, was built to accommodate Royal Caribbean’s Genesis class ships, the newest and largest class of cruise ships.

Historic Falmouth Cruise Port will offer cruise passengers a new port experience, focusing on highlighting the history of the 240-year-old town. In addition to historic walking tours, travelers will also have access to 60 attractions in the surrounding area and in nearby Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

“We saw, with the inaugural ship-calling on February 17, that Falmouth’s rich history and enthusiastic people create an extraordinary atmosphere for cruise passengers,” said Jamaica’s Deputy Director of Tourism Jason Hall. “Historic Falmouth Cruise Port is the only cruise facility in the Caribbean to double as an attraction. At Falmouth, the port runs seamlessly into the town, creating a truly unique experience not seen anywhere else.”

The opening of Historic Falmouth Cruise Port brings Jamaica’s total number of cruise ports to five – cruise ships also call on the ports of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Port Antonio and Kingston. Among the new attractions at Historic Falmouth, many will be offered at Good Hope Great House, the former home of plantation owner John Tharpe. Offerings at this scenic and historic site include a horse and buggy ride, the longest zip-line tour in the Caribbean, and ATV adventures through the still operational Citrus Orchards. Culinary tours will also be offered by Tammy Hart, former personal chef to Al Pacino, featuring gourmet twists on traditional Jamaican cuisine. Additionally, High Tea is available on the Great House Veranda for visitors to enjoy.

For more details about Historic Falmouth Port, visit www.visitjamaica.com, or contact the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422).

About Historic Falmouth Cruise Port

The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port was planned as an extension of the local community, providing a comprehensive list of services and activities for tourists and locals. In addition to the authentic historic attractions and points of interest, Historic Falmouth Cruise Port will include restaurants, duty-free and boutique shops, a craft market, offices, and residences within walking distance.

The restoration and preservation of several historic buildings in Falmouth is being undertaken as a multi-government-agency project involving both private and public sectors. It is expected to generate 300 new jobs in addition to the several hundred created during the construction stage.

Falmouth’s historic district is a National Heritage site with many late 18th-century and early 19th-century buildings still standing. Also recognized by the World Monuments Fund, Falmouth has been listed on that organization’s Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites four times in the last decade. This rich architectural heritage gave inspiration to the design of the port, which will support a natural integration with the historic town of Falmouth.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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