Cruise shipping, a key component of Jamaica’s tourism sector, which suffered the greatest fallout of all tourism activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is gearing up for a major comeback.
- Despite the pandemic, Jamaica is seeing a glimmer of hope in cruises.
- Discussions with cruise partners have already produced an agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line for home-porting of its vessels in Montego Bay.
- Home-porting by a major American cruise line will mean revenues for supplies.
While opening the sectoral debate in parliament on Tuesday (April 20), Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, said Jamaica was seeing “a glimmer of hope” in cruise shipping, despite a pandemic-induced standstill in the global cruise industry.
Even as major cruise lines engage the US Center for Disease Control for the right to sail the seas again, Minister Bartlett reported that: “We are pivoting in this crisis to take advantage of a new collaborative approach that will bring greater value for passengers, cruise lines and Destination Jamaica.” The plan, he said, was not only to attract the cruise lines back to the ports of Jamaica, but facilitate greater benefits from partnerships by way of spend and inclusiveness.
Discussions with cruise partners have already produced an agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) for the home-porting of its vessels in Montego Bay, starting August 7, this year. This development he says, will be a game-changer.