KINGSTON, Jamaica,– Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has revealed that Jamaica has finalized arrangements with global cruise company Norwegian Cruise Line to homeport one of its vessels in Montego Bay, with service set to begin on August 7, 2021.
“I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica will be a homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line, which will see the return of cruise tourism to Jamaican waters in August. We look forward to welcoming them back to our shores, and I am confident that this important partnership will aid in our effort to rebuild our tourism sector and boost our economy overall,” he said.
“While we know there are some concerns about the safety of the cruise industry at this time. We want to assure the public that the cruise lines are adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols. We have also been working tirelessly to develop the necessary policy and strategic frameworks, which will ensure that this will be a safe, seamless and secure experience, which will be mutually beneficial,” Bartlett added.
The Norwegian Joy will be used to transport passengers embarking from Jamaica, and the itineraries will include seven-day packages sailing out of Montego Bay.
“Ultimately, the vessel, which has an occupancy of approximately 3,800, will operate at 50 per cent capacity, in keeping with current COVID-19 protocols in place for the cruise shipping industry,” Minister Bartlett explained.
“Passengers will also be required to be fully vaccinated and take a test prior to boarding the ship.”
With this announcement, Jamaica now joins a number of other Caribbean destinations that will be homeports for leading cruise lines.