Plans to Develop Jamaica’s Ken Wright Cruise Ship Pier

Hon. Minister Bartlett - image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Hon. Minister Bartlett - image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Written by Linda S. Hohnholz

Jamaica Tourism Minister indicated discussions are underway for further development of Ken Wright Cruise Ship Pier in Port Antonio, Portland.

The pier experienced its busiest winter season with the arrival of 12 cruise ships, carrying over 5000 visitors and on average 43 yachts arriving per month including several mega yachts, last winter.

Speaking recently while on a Destination Assurance tour of Portland, Jamaica Tourism Minister Bartlett said, “We had a chance to look at the Ken Wright Pier, which has now been brought back into activity post-COVID. We’re very happy to note that they had a record arrival of vessels in the winter that added to the economic well-being of the people in the area. It’s a good signal that the activities at the pier are stepping up and I want to commend the team at PAJ and JAMVAC who have been working to get the Port Antonio cruise industry back on track.”

The tourism minister underscored that given this upward trajectory, he and his team at the Ministry of Tourism were thrilled about the future of cruise in the parish.

In keeping with this, Minister Bartlett suggested that plans are afoot to seriously incorporate Navy Island into Portland’s tourism product. However, he cautioned that additional details would become available at the opportune time.

Notwithstanding this, some residents in attendance at the public consultation meeting raised concerns about the pace at which cruise ships were returning to the Ken Wright Pier. In addressing these concerns, Port Manager, Donna Samuda-Wilson said, “Port Antonio only accommodates boutique vessels which means that they can go to every other destination, making it very competitive to get them into Port Antonio. Our cruise season runs from October to March, so it’s not going to be all year round. Before COVID, we were not getting more than six vessels and last winter we had twelve. So, I think we’re doing very well.”

Minister Bartlett further noted that with Port Antonio’s natural beauty and the development presently taking place, it will easily become a preferred port of call for cruise ships.

“The government is channelling significant investments into transforming the eastern end of the island. That’s why the Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy (DAFS) is so important. We are preparing the public and stakeholders to all play their parts in bringing together a unique and profitable tourism experience for the people of Portland as well as visitors,” added the tourism minister.

About the author

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda Hohnholz has been an editor for eTurboNews for many years. She is in charge of all premium content and press releases.

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