Falmouth: Port Shopping Hot Spot

April 24, 2014 1 Comment
Falmouth, port shopping

Cruise ships dock directly at the historic Falmouth Cruise Port, sandwiched between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s northern coast. Step off the ship and step back in time. No where does Jamaica’s rich history shine more than in Falmouth, the capital of Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish.

Falmouth is centrally located on Jamaica’s northern coast between the popular tourism destinations of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The coast is hugged by coral reefs, which run along the north shore. More than 700 species of fish call the reef home. Two beaches are within a 10-minute drive of the cruise terminal—Red Stripe Beach and Chukka Beach—but there’s so much more to see here beyond the pristine beaches. With everything from historical plantation tours to waterfall climbs, Jamaica is an island that is definitely worth exploring.

Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean, and its largest English-speaking nation. It is surrounded by a narrow coastal plain, except to the south. Mountains rise along the center of the island, climbing to the Blue Mountains in the east. At 7,402 feet above sea level, Blue Mountain Peak is Jamaica’s highest point.

There are as many as 120 riverbeds across the island, many of them dry except after heavy rains. More than half of the land is composed of soft, porous limestone covered by red-clay soil that feeds a lush ecosystem.

Located 18 miles east of Montego Bay, the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port is the first-ever thematic port destination in the Caribbean. Construction of the port began in 209 thanks to a joint effort between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the Jamaica Port Authority. Their collective goal was to awaken the coastal town from its 150-year-long slumber and usher in a new era of enchantment for cruise guests.

The 32-acre state-of-the-art facility welcomed its first ship in March 2011. A record-breaking crowd of 30,000 locals gathered at the terminal for the event.

That same sense of welcoming celebration prevails in Falmouth today. Local mento bands strike up a tune when ships arrive and play throughout the day. They are accompanied by Moko Jumbie stilt dancers and a balladeer—a one-man band who entertains guests by the craft pavilion.

Thanks to the brand-new tax- and duty-free shopping complex, visitors can take advantage of incredible prices on items such as diamonds, watches, fine jewelry, electronics, liquor, and more. Many of the stores in Falmouth are backed by the cruise line’s Port Shopping guarantee. Bring your Port Shopping Map ashore and shop with confidence.

See Falmouth and Montego Bay on a guided scenic drive. Then enjoy two hours of leisure time, shopping, eating, and swimming at Mo’ Bay’s hip strip.

Ride a bamboo raft down the Martha Brae River, then visit Miss Martha’s Medicinal Herb Garden.

Step inside the colonial-era great house owned by Jamaica’s largest plantation owner in the 1700s. See the hummingbird garden and explore the sprawling 2,000-acre grounds.

Handpick ingredients with a Celebrity Cruises chef, sample meats at Walkerswood Jerk Hut, then join the chef later for a galley tour and dinner.

Interact with marine mammals, stingrays, birds, iguanas, snakes, and see a shark show. Sunbathe, snorkel, go glass-bottom kayaking, brave a waterslide, or shop for souvenirs.

Enter the passageways of the Green Grotto Caves, walk past light holes and rock formations. For good luck, toss a coin into the mythical Wishing Well.

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