Jamaica welcomed 916,300 cruise passengers between January and September, a 10% increase over the same period last year, a result of Disney and MSC cruise lines diverting from storm-affected islands.
“Both Disney and MSC came to Jamaica in summer, which did not happen last year,” William Tatham, head of cruises at the Port Authority of Jamaica, said in a phone interview on Monday.
“We got an additional 12,000 passengers based on the diversion from other Caribbean islands. We missed the storms this time, but others did not. We are very lucky this year to experience no disruptions. It resulted in four additional calls that we didn’t anticipate.”
Between May and September, however, the growth jumped to 20% year-on-year. The bulk of the growth came from the Falmouth Cruise Pier, Ochi Rios grew slightly, and Montego Bay remained flat year-on-year. Tatham said that the island remains on the “border” of achieving record arrivals this year.
Just this week, large attraction Dolphin Cove stated that cruise ship arrivals resulted in increased profitability at the listed company.
MSC Cruise Line entered the island on and off for a decade, but it’s the first time it sailed during summer to Jamaica, while Disney entered the island last October for the first time.