- MSC Meraviglia returns to the port of Ocho Rios on Tuesday September 21 for the first of five stopovers until November.
- Carnival Sunrise will also dock in Jamaica on its return trip on Wednesday, September 22.
- With the return of stopover visitor arrivals since June 2020, Jamaica is experiencing steady growth in the cruise tourism industry.
“The award-winning MSC Meraviglia returns to the port of Ocho Rios on Tuesday, September 21 for the first of five calls until November. Although it has a carrying capacity of around 7,000 passengers and crew, it will moor with some 2,833 people on board due to COVID-19 protocols, ”said Minister Bartlett.
MSC Meraviglia was the last cruise ship to dock in Jamaica in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing the island’s international borders to be closed.
The other ship leaving for Jamaica, also to dock in Ocho Rios, is the Carnival Sunrise on its return voyage on Wednesday, September 22. The Carnival Sunrise was the first ship to visit the island as Jamaica reopened to cruise tourism on Monday, August 16. and will make 11 calls through December.
“Cruise shipping is essential to the recovery of the tourism sector, and we are seeing a welcome return of ships with the recognition that Jamaica’s resilient corridors provide a safe environment for our visitors, tourism workers and the population in general, ”said Minister Bartlett.
“With the return of stopover visitor arrivals since June 2020, we are seeing steady growth towards pre-COVID-19 levels and now that the cruise ship industry is back, we look forward to significant growth. of our number, ”he adds. .
Mr Bartlett says Jamaica is well prepared for cruise ship stopovers as all requirements have been put in place to meet international and local COVID-19 Department of Health and Welfare protocols, and passengers are limited to moving in resilient hallways.
“I must stress that cruise ships must adhere to strict measures governing the restart of cruise navigation, requiring that approximately 95% of passengers and crew be fully vaccinated and that all passengers provide proof of negative results. of a COVID-19 test carried out within 72 hours of navigation. In the case of unvaccinated passengers, such as children, a PCR test is mandatory, and all passengers are also screened and tested (antigen) on boarding, ”said Minister Bartlett.
Based on schedules to date, Minister Bartlett said Jamaica expects around 20 cruise ship calls before the end of the year.