Cruising to Jamaica

Jamaica Is A Jewel Of The Western Caribbean

Perhaps one of the most noted destinations in the Western Caribbean, Jamaica has taken on a life of its own. This island nation is home to some of the richest history, plushest beaches and beautiful terrain found in the Caribbean.

Discovered by Europeans with Columbus’ 1494 voyage, Jamaica’s reputation was firmly ensconced in that single trip. The world traveler declared the island the most beautiful he had ever beheld. With that landing came five centuries of European control of the island, once home to only native peoples.

Modern day travelers and those who make their way to Jamaica via one of the many cruise lines that make ports of call in the country’s big-name cities will find an island rich in a heritage that includes Spanish, native and British influences.

British rule of the island began in the 1650s and by the 18th century the island was a major part of the British colonies. It was responsible for producing most of the world’s sugar and more. Later such crops as bananas and coffee became popular to grow on the island’s rich lands.

Today, although the country still bears strong ties to its past, Jamaica is a free nation. Its independence from British rule came in 1962 and the island that once was known for its coffee, bananas and sugar became also known for its incredible tourist potential.

One of the favorite ports of call for those taking cruises to Jamaica is Montego Bay. Fabled for its silvery beaches, this city is home to the Bob Marley Theater and island music like no other. Here visitors can do such things at take a safari through a rainforest region, explore Bob Marley’s roots, go snorkeling and diving and more.

Bird watchers revel in Jamaica’s many offerings, as well. On this island alone visitors will find more than 252 different species of birds, including the streamer-tailed hummingbird.

For those who want to stretch their legs a little, Montego Bay is home to some impressive architecture and a rich historical district. Walking tours include such high points as the Falmouth estate, which is now a museum, and many Spanish influenced homes.

The more adventurous can enjoy snorkeling and dive tours of the bay’s water, water skiing and more. Plus there’s plenty of opportunities to check out beaches, go biking, horseback riding, golfing and more. Visitors with an eye for incredible beauty can even check out tropical waterfalls and more.

With such ports of call as Montego Bay, Kingston and Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a favorite for cruise travelers the world over. Its rich history and welcoming populace couple with the beautiful turquoise waters and warm island breezes to make this nation one that knows how to make travelers feel right at home.