It was a monumental moment in Jamaican history when the newly restored Port Royal Cruise Port welcomed the first ever cruise ship to its docks on January 20, 2020. The Marella Discovery II of Royal Caribbean International was met by Prime Minister the Honourable Andrew Holness, who toured the port and welcomed passengers.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett told the media, “Port Royal has the greatest potential in the Caribbean of being a really world-class destination, and we are committed to building that out, and to complete the arrangement, so that it will become a ‘must’ on any itinerary for cruise shipping in the Caribbean.”
Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, described the inaugural arrival of the ship as “a new day for Kingston”.
“We thank the Government of Jamaica and the Port Authority for their belief in our vision of transforming Kingston into a destination city and making this historic moment a reality,” he said. The Mayor expressed a vision to have Kingston’s stopovers grow by 10 per cent per annum.
Port Royal is a significant historic region for Jamaica, once known as the “wickedest city in the world.” From buccaneers to pirates, Port Royal was a base for their operations in the second half of the 17th century before the devastating earthquake of June 7th, 1692. The earthquake, followed by a tsunami, wiped out approximately 3000 people and the northern section fell into the sea.
The rebirth of Port Royal emphasizes its rich value to Jamaica and marks a positive step into the future.
Sources: https://jis.gov.jm/port-royal-welcomes-first-cruise-ship/ https://jamaicans.com/port-royal-earthquake/