Jamaica is looking to develop the Ken Wright Pier in Port Antonio, eyeing the port as a “boutique” style cruise for small-ship and luxury cruise lines.
The plan is to position the port as a small-ship and mega yacht destination — even this year, which was its busiest year ever, the port received just 12 cruise ships.
On the yachting side, about 43 yachts arrived per month last winter.
“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,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “It’s a good signal that the activities at the pier are stepping up.”
Officials cautioned that Port Antonio would not suddenly become a mega-ship pier. The potential for Ken Wright is for small-ships, not to become Port Royal.
“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,” said Port Manager Donna Samuda-Wilson. “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.”