Ocho Rios poised for record cruise ship arrivals

Jamaica Vacations Limited (JAMVAC) Executive Director Joy Roberts.

Ocho Rios is posed for a record 2019/2020 cruise-ship season with some of the largest vessels in the world scheduled to call at the resort town.

Some 15 vessels have stopped in Ocho Rios since the start of November.

“Ocho Rios, alone, will be seeing over 756,000 visitors for the cruise-shipping season,” Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC), Joy Roberts said. “Between November and March or say April, which is the busiest period for cruise shipping, the town should be seeing at least one and sometimes multiple ships per day.”

Roberts said that while Ocho Rios does not have docks of the size to accommodate the Royal Caribbean Oasis-type vessels, as in the case of Falmouth, a number of large ships are expected to call.

“The MSC MERAVIGLIA, with a maximum capacity of 6,900, inclusive of passengers and crew, will be making an inaugural visit to Ocho Rios in 2019,” she noted. “The town will also be seeing a number of ships from Carnival Cruise Lines, the second-largest cruise company in the world. These include the Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise and the Carnival Sensation.”

She added that the Norwegian ships, as well as several other cruise lines, will also be well represented. She noted that craft traders, restaurateurs, transport operators, attraction owners, duty-free merchants and others will benefit from these port calls.

Ocho Rios has seen an 11.9 per cent growth in port calls between January and October, and there were 450,000 cruise passengers, representing a 2.6 per cent increase.