Port Antonio is the capital city of Jamaica's Portland Parish, located on the island's northeastern coast, approx 100 km (60 mi) from Kingston. The town has population around 15,000.
Port Antonio (locode JMPOT) is ranked Jamaica's 3rd largest seaport by annual shipping volumes - after Ocho Rios and Falmouth. Its main business is the export of coconuts and bananas. Tourism is also a major contributor to its economy.
Port Antonio became a cruise ship travel destination after Cuba's opening to the industry in 2016. As call port, it receives mainly visits from small-sized and premium cruise ships. As draft, it is limited to vessels with LOA length up to 220 m (720 ft).
Currently, cruise vessels dock at Errol Flynn Marina's Ken Wright Pier in the West Harbour.
Statistics from the Port Authority of Jamaica show that in 2023-H1, no yachts or other vessels docked at the Errol Flynn Marina, while in 2022 the facility was handled 3 superyachts (~1200 passengers total). In 2019, the Marina had an annual record welcoming 9 vessels (~1480 passengers total).
In 1723 Portland became formally a parish by order of Duke of Portland, and then Governor of Jamaica, after whom it was named. The existing port was to be named Port Antonio and slated to become a naval stronghold. By 1729, the British started to create Fort George on a peninsula that separates the twin East and West harbors famous as Titchfield promontory. Fort George was intended to defend settlers from attacks from the sea by the Spanish, as well as from run-away slaves (Maroons) who lived in the mountains.
Until the 1880s, Port Antonio was just a sleepy coastal town, but Lorenzo Dow Baker initiated Jamaica's banana trade and successfully advertised Port Antonio as a tourist destination for wealthy Americans. The banana trade and tourists (who came in banana boats) were so large in volumes that at one time, weekly cruises from Port Antonio were more than the weekly sailings from one of England's largest ports - Liverpool.
The island was glamoured by Hollywood as a paradise model in movies of the 1940s-1950s, including Club Paradise and Cocktail. Movie star Errol Flynn arrived in 1946 when his yacht Zaca washed ashore due to bad weather. Subsequently, he purchased nearby Navy Island, which is part of historic Fort George, along with hundreds of acres of farmland along the Portland coast. A lot of members of movie stars, royal families, great musicians, and famous politicians have been to Port Antonio.
A popular sight in the area is the Blue Lagoon, which owes its color to the depth of 61 m (200 ft). Other worth-seeing sights include the solitary Frenchman's Cove Beach, Folly Mansion ruins and historic DeMontevin Lodge. Boston Bay, Reach Falls and Rio Grande are also close by. There is also Bay View Eco Resort situated on a former Coconut Plantation and Long Bay's Pimento Lodge which is within easy reach of all destinations.
Port Antonio cruise terminal
Currently, cruise vessels in Port Antonio dock at Errol Flynn Marina's Ken Wright Pier in the West Harbour. Still, the Errol Flynn Marina (2002-opened) primarily serves affluent boat owners, handling mainly superyachts and large boats. The Marina's cruise pier (Ken Wright) is not suitable for larger vessels carrying thousands of passengers.
In June 2023, Jamaica's Tourism Minister announced discussions for Ken Wright Pier's developments to make the facility a preferred call port. There were also talks for developing Navy Island (64-acre/26-hectare uninhabited island opposite Errol Flynn Marina) into a tourism destination.
However, in 2022, the plans to build a new cruise terminal in Port Antoni's West Harbour were abandoned and the terminal's location was changed to the East Harbour. The new facility will be in the Folly area, encompassing land of 68 acres/28 hectares/275,000 m2. In comparison to the neighboring West Harbour (housing the Errol Flynn Marina), East Harbour is considerably larger and with potential to facilitate the navigation of larger cruise ships more effectively.
The Port Authority of Jamaica holds full ownership of both the Errol Flynn Marina and the Folly Lands.
Port Port Antonio cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Port Antonio, Jamaica. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|6 December, 2023|
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