Royal Caribbean Ship Makes First Call to Historic Jamaica Port

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas today became the first ship to call at the new Historic Falmouth port in Jamaica.

Originally scheduled to open in the spring of 2010, the port has faced a number of setbacks. Although Royal Caribbean has been working with Jamaica to open up the port since 2007, preliminary wrangling -- including securing finances that amounted to $170 million -- weren't tidied up until October 2009, when ground was finally broken on the project.

The hiccups didn't end there. Late last year, Holland America and P&O Cruises cancelled scheduled stops at the still developing port. Then in January Royal Caribbean postponed calls, saying the port "is not quite ready to deliver the high standards we are striving for."

Although the port accepted its first ship today, construction on the Historic Falmouth port is still ongoing, reports the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. The project is not slated to be completely finished until June 2011, but the port is ready enough to welcome ships and passengers who can take part in a number of shore excursions in and around Falmouth.

The port will host an official grand opening celebration on March 22, 2011 when Oasis of the Seas makes her maiden call into the port. The $170 million Historic Falmouth port was specifically constructed to accommodate the 6,296-passenger ship, which is one of the largest cruise ships in the world along with her sister ship Allure of the Seas.

"By partnering with the Port Authority of Jamaica, we are working to deliver our shared vision of Falmouth's rebirth. Together, we are bringing the town's historic sites to life and integrating the culture and authenticity of this destination into a superior guest experience," says Craig Milan, senior vice president of land operations for Royal Caribbean, in a statement.

Once the site of a bustling rum and sugar industry, Falmouth is now home to one of the Caribbean's best-preserved Georgian towns. Located between the well-established ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, it had been 50 years since the last cruise ship docked at the port.

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