Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier to be Expanded
Chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Gordon Shirley, announced in April, that soon, the Falmouth Port will be undergoing expansion.
This is to accommodate the new largest ships in the world. It seems the current title holders, the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will soon be surpassed by two new vessels.
Harmony of the Seas
The first will be Harmony of the Seas, which will have its maiden voyage in April 2016 (don’t know if and when it is coming to Falmouth). The other is scheduled for delivery in 2018. When they are delivered, they will become joint holders of the title: “the largest cruise ship in the world.”
I checked out the size of the Harmony of the Seas and it appears to have almost the same tonnage as the Oasis of the Seas. That leaves me wondering just how much bigger these new Oasis class ships will be. Answer? They will only be 2.15 meters longer!
So why the expansion? How great an expansion will it be? Why can’t the current size of the Pier suffice for vessels that are only 2.15 meters longer? Will the expansion mean an additional pier? Those questions and more, I think, will be answered in time.
Anyway, the 2016 delivery date of Harmony of the Seas, means Mr Shirley’s ‘soon’ will likely be soon. However, what about the sea wall?
When Will Sea Erosion Problem Be Addressed?
As a result of the port construction, the Falmouth harbour was dredged. Part of the reef that protects the town had to be removed. That means much more water is reaching the shore than before. The result? Rapid erosion of the shoreline, resulting in damages to the main road into Falmouth.
The question is, will the walls be fixed in tandem with the expansion? or will it be Royal Caribbean first and the people second (as is the norm)? Mayor Garth Wilkinson had the answer. In a Jamaica Observer report: “mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson who welcomed the announced expansion underscored that it would be followed by works to address the erosion of the Falmouth to Rock main road.”
Expansion welcomed but…
I welcome the expansion of the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, but I wish this dangerous situation that has been with us for over 3 years could have been resolved more quickly . A greater capacity means more visitors. More visitors means more potential for earning cruise ship dollars, but delay in repairing the wall and the road could lead to fatalities.
Footnote; Mr Gordon Shirley has family ties to Falmouth, as he is closely related to the well known Shirley family, who have excelled in business.