Jamaican Cruise Port Development Steams Ahead

Friday, February 11, 2000
Managers of Jamaica's delayed Port Royal Development Project expect to begin construction by year-end on a cruise ship pier central to the restoration of the one-time "wickedest city on earth." The Caribbean port earned the dubious distinction in the 17th century, when buccaneer Henry Morgan ruled the waves and made Port Royal his base. The infamy did not last long, as much of Port Royal disappeared under the sea in a massive earthquake in 1692. Another earthquake in 1907 did further damage, leaving only a small village at the end of Jamaica's Palisadoes Peninsular, just east of the capital Kingston. Prime Minister P.J Patterson has described the pier project as "one of the most ambitious and promising tourism developments ever undertaken in Jamaica." Originally dubbed the Millennium Plan, it was to have been ready to receive cruise ships in June 2000, but was thrown off target by logistic difficulties. Robert Stevens, managing director of the project, said he now expects to begin construction of the cruise ship pier in late 2000. The developers need to raise $60 million for the first phase of the project, which will include construction of restaurants, museums and shopping facilities on the Peninsular, near the Norman Manley International Airport. "In March we'll be finishing all the documents with Citibank and we expect to be in the marketplace by April. If everything goes according to schedule, then before the end of the second quarter, we should be able to identify the equity investors and then be able to begin construction before the end of this year," Stevens said. Eventually the project will incorporate a theme park designed to transport visitors back to the buccaneer era. Phases two and three could take the cost up to $200 million, Stevens said. His optimism for the project was buoyed in part by recent sonar studies of the ocean floor, which confirmed the site was appropriate for the pier, "with the depths just offshore being about 35 ft. (10.6 m) going out to about 60 ft. (18.2 m)." Stevens said the sonar testing clearly identified the boundaries of the sunken city. "We've also been able to identify anomalies that occur out there, where there may be sunken ships or buildings," he said. Despite the delay, the Jamaican government has taken a deeper interest in the project, using the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to inject new life into the plan, government spokeswoman Maxine Henry Wilson said. The project is one of a several major development plans that the government is leading or lending support to in its effort to kick-start the stagnant economy and fuel long-term economic growth. The prime minister recently announced plans for a major highway network to open up the interior of the island and spur development of light industry and tourism projects along its span. He also disclosed plans for an air cargo transshipment facility on Jamaica's south coast, along with several tourism and information technology projects. But the Port Royal project remains a sentimental favorite for some in the government and for Stevens, who said the restored port would serve as a gateway for a whole gamut of heritage tourist attractions. On Feb. 6 - Bob Marley Day in Jamaica - the Trench Town Culture Yard was officially opened in Kingston. The yard, which is incomplete, incorporates several historically significant buildings including the house where the late reggae superstar spent many of his formative years and began his meteoric rise to international stardom. Stevens said the Culture Yard would be an important stop for many of the 5,000 cruise ship passengers expected to disembark in Port Royal each week.
Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Bulk Carrier Trends

Commodity Giant Steps out of the Shadows

A detailed new case study scrutinizing the risk-management Swiss-based Trafigura is the latest effort to "demystify" the once-secretive commodity trading industry,

Cargill to Buy 100,000mt of Certified Ivorian Cocoa

U.S. agribusiness trader Cargill aims to purchase 100,000 metric tons of certified Ivorian cocoa this season, up slightly from 95,000 metric tons last season, West

Ice Hurts March’s Lakes Ore Shipments

Massive, thick ice formations on the Great Lakes limited iron ore shipments in March to 1.1 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake

Ports

Canaveral Tops State List for Sand Bypass Funding

The Canaveral Harbor Inlet Sand Bypass Project has earned the top state ranking for 2014/15 inlet management funding. As a result, Port Canaveral is expected to receive $100,

Rotterdam port's throughput almost stable

The Port of Rotterdam’s throughput in the first quarter of 2014, at 109 million tonnes, was 0.2% below the level for the corresponding period last year.Split up by goods type,

CMA CGM Strengthens Madagascar Presence

Since the creation of CMA CGM Madagascar in 2003, container shipping company CMA CGM Group has continued to develop on the island to move closer to its valued customers

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2491 sec (4 req/sec)