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Jamaica’s Falmouth Cruise Port Debut Rescheduled January 5, 2011

Jamaica Sunset

The first cruise ship call at Jamaica’s historic Falmouth cruise port, which had originally been planned for Jan. 7, 2011, has been rescheduled for Feb. 17, according to a statement from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas will be the first ship to call at the $220 million port, followed by the Royal Caribbean ships Freedom of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. In January and early February, the ships will each visit their established Jamaican ports of call.

While the Falmouth cruise port project is “on schedule,” according to a statement from Royal Caribbean, the Jamaican government, a partner in the project, and Royal Caribbean “jointly decided to postpone the arrival of passenger ships arriving into Falmouth until February.”

Royal Caribbean and Jamaican officials opted to delay Falmouth’s premiere after touring the site this past weekend and finding “it is not quite ready to deliver the high standards we are striving for. … Construction of the new thematic village continues at a fast pace and numerous administrative agencies of the Jamaican Cabinet Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Transportation have initiated enhancements to the town.”

The rescheduling follows local press reports highlighting the incomplete status of several projects at the 32-acre port. RCCL’s largest ship, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to make its inaugural Falmouth call on March 22. For more information, visit www.visitjamaica.com.

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Falmouth cruise port on schedule for January opening May 18, 2010

Navigator of the Seas - Royal Caribbean

FALMOUTH, Jamaica — The 32-acre, two-berth cruise port in Falmouth on Jamaica’s north coast will welcome Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas on schedule on Jan. 7, according to John Tercek, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ vice president of commercial development.

Falmouth will be one of the stops on the Navigator’s seven-day sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.

Starting next March, Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas will call in Falmouth.

The Falmouth port is a partnership between RCCL and the Port Authority of Jamaica, and will transform the historic town of Falmouth into the first thematic cruise port destination, according to Tercek.

Construction began last September. Two long piers are taking shape, surrounded by a land mass accommodating roadways, terminal buildings and eventually a town center with shops, restaurants and boutique hotels.

“The master plan for the port incorporates pedestrian streets lined with buildings inspired by local structures that weave building styles into a distinctive pattern of early Jamaican architecture with Georgian-era buildings dating from the 1760s to 1840,” Tercek said.

The land mass was created by dredging 53 million cubic feet in Falmouth’s harbor, according to Tercek. The material removed from the sea was then dried and used to create the 15-acre landfill.

“Professional divers, supervised by divers with the National Environmental Protection Agency, also relocated 100,000 pieces of coral during the dredging process,” Tercek said.

The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port will be owned and operated by the Port Authority of Jamaica. RCCL is the developer, and Danish firm E. Pihl & Son serves as the general contractor.

RCCL is guaranteeing that it will bring 667,000 cruise passengers a year into Falmouth once the port is open, according to Tercek.

The January opening will signal the completion of the first of five phases of the Falmouth project. More than 100 tenants have signed leases for the new shops on the cruise pier.

“We’ve received more than 60 proposals from Jamaican tour operators who want to operate land excursions and tours from Falmouth,” Tercek said.

Falmouth will be Jamaica’s fourth cruise port, but the only one capable of handling the Oasis and the Allure. Jamaica also has cruise ports in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.