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Falmouth Jamaica Cruise Port Tips

Falmouth cruise terminal. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Falmouth cruise terminal. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
"Historic Falmouth Cruise Port" is a 32-acre cruise terminal and park developed by the Jamaica Port Authority and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

The development includes a craft market, duty-free and boutique shops, restaurants, offices and homes within walking distance.

Falmouth was founded in 1769 and is considered one of the Western Hemisphere’s best-preserved towns from the Georgian era.

The Falmouth cruise terminal is a triangular, open-air shopping mall with a welcome building, trolley station, taxi stand, bus stand, restaurants and retail shops.

Quick Tips


  • Montego Bay and Dunn’s River Falls are popular cruise excursions.
  • Beaches usually require a taxi or other transportation to reach them.
  • The best time to go for weather is March or especially April.

Where is Falmouth Jamaica?


Falmouth sits right between the two most popular cruise and resort cities in Jamaica. It is 26 miles east of Montego Bay and 31 miles west of Ocho Rios on the northern coast of Jamaica. Cruise visitors will have quick access to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios for a wide variety of excursions and major attractions.

Attractions and Shore Excursions


Walking Around Attractions


Falmouth is a small town and fairly easy to tour on foot. A better way to explore it is via a trolley tour.

Points of interest include the former residence of slave owner John Tharp; the Albert George Shopping and Historical Centre; the town house of plantation owner Edward Barrett; and the St Peter's Anglican Church, built in 1795.

Another significant historical building is the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church on King Street. It was built by a missionary and leader in the movement to abolish slavery in Jamaica. It is less than a mile from the cruise pier.


Shore Excursions


The Falmouth cruise port emphasizes local history and cultural. Beyond the port, many of the major attractions lie to the east near Ocho Rios or to the west at Montego Bay. Ocho Rios is about an hour away by car or tour bus, while Montego Bay is about 45 minutes away.

Dunn's River Falls
Dunn's River Falls. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios is an hour away. The cascading waterfalls allow visitors to climb up them in a daisy chain. They are a popular shore excursion from the Falmouth cruise port. A Dunn’s River Falls tour costs about $80 per person, but some tours cost more with extra activities such as a

The Rainforest Adventures Park at Mystic Mountain near Dunn’s River Falls also is about a one-hour drive. It offers bobsledding, ziplines and “tranopy” tours. Prices vary according to the program, but they usually start at more than $100 per person.

Dolphin lovers can go to Dolphin Cove near Montego Bay to swim with them. But it is an hour and 20 minutes by car or bus to the east of Falmouth because it is on the far side of Montego Bay. Dunn’s River Falls is a quicker drive. Prices depend on the program, but they usually start at more than $100 per person.

Luminous Lagoon is marshland between Falmouth and the town of Rock. It is home to millions of dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms that produce an eerie glow at night. They reveal outlines of fish and other objects in the water. Prices start at more than $40 per person.

Rafting, kayaking and water tubing on Rio Bueno and Martha Brae rivers are common excursions for recreational cruise visitors. Prices vary depending on the length and activity, but they usually range between $70 and $100 per person.

Rose Hall Great House near Montego Bay is a chance to visit the home of the “white witch of Rose House”. Visitors can hear a few horror stories to chill the bones under a hot Jamaican sun. The house is about 20 minutes from the Falmouth cruise docks. Most prices start at more than $70 per person and usually include other destinations such as Doctor’s Cave Beach. A visit to just Rose Hall may cost as little as $25 per person.

Beaches Near the Cruise Port


Many shore excursions are available at the Falmouth cruise port, but surprisingly few include a beach visit.

Burwood Beach is a public beach about four miles east of the cruise port. Visitors will need a taxi to get there.

Some cruise excursions offer visits to Doctor’s Cave Beach, which is near Montego Bay about 40 minutes from the Falmouth docks.

Shopping / Restaurants


The Port of Falmouth has a variety of retail and duty free shops, restaurants and excursion operators in 120,000 square feet of retail space.

Shops sell the usual range of products in developed Caribbean tourism districts including duty-free jewelry, clothing, electronics, perfume, arts, crafts and souvenirs.

Restaurants at the port facility include Margaritaville, Starbucks, DQ, Quiznos, Nathan's Famous, Auntie Anne's and Patty Port.

Getting Around / Transportation


Cruise visitors can walk right off their ship and into the city, so there is no need to take a taxi or bus to get there.

Rental cars are available at the port, but visitors should rent them with caution. Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road. Any visitor from a country like the United States where people drive on the right side will have an extra challenge dealing with driving on the left side of busy Jamaican roads.

Otherwise, the biggest and best attractions other than a tour of this historic port city mostly exist in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. So cruise visitors are most likely to take a tour bus to get anywhere if they aren’t walking around the Falmouth cruise port.

Weather / Best Times to Go


Falmouth has some of the lowest risk of rain among all of the cruise ports in the Caribbean.

Like most Caribbean destinations, it has a dry season from January through April when the average rainfall is two to three inches a month, according to the Meteorological Service of Jamaica. These months are the best times to go.

That total increases to four inches from May through August and then climbs to five inches in September and six inches in October. Average monthly rainfall declines again to four inches in November and December.

Temperatures hover in a narrow range throughout most of the year. The average daytime temperatures range from the low 80s Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 80s in the summer.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Cruise Ports   

September 09, 2019

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