Located in Trelawney parish in northern Jamaica, Falmouth is the country’s newest yet one of its most historic cruise destinations. Falmouth offers travellers a glimpse into everyday Jamaican life and its colonial past with its impressive 19th-century Jamaican Georgian architecture and intricate ‘gingerbread’ woodwork.
An eclectic mix of cultures contributes to Falmouth’s vibrant atmosphere. Tourists can stroll along Falmouth Historic District then weave through open-air markets before grabbing a bite to eat or some drinks at a tavern playing Jamaica’s omnipresent reggae music.
After a walk around the historic town, guests can meander through the Martha Brae gardens before gently drifting down the scenic Martha Brae River on a 9m (30 ft) bamboo raft guided by an expert.
For an unforgettable sight, head to the Luminous Lagoon, where the water flowing down the Martha Brae River converges with the salty water of the Caribbean Sea. The waters here glow a luminous green due to the presence of rare, freshwater microbes. Travellers can swim in the lagoon’s shallower areas and bask in its unique ambience.
Falmouth is flanked by two popular resorts, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, and excursions to beautiful white-sand beaches in the surrounding areas are popular. For those looking for something a little more daring, the famed 183m-high (600ft) high Dunn’s River Falls, just 45-minutes by car from Falmouth, allows adventure seekers to climb up slippery rocks or to take the plunge with a refreshing swim in the pounding water.
Falmouth’s new dock may have got off to a bumpy start after a number of delays in its construction, but it boasts a truly unique experience that is distinct from neighbouring destinations Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Passengers disembark directly into the heart of Falmouth, where the streets are scattered with Georgian buildings and character-filled churches. From here, visitors can embark on heritage walking tours, browse local shopping areas and explore the town’s squares and historic houses. Falmouth was the first town in Jamaica to have running water, with a reservoir in Water Square, which is today a popular commercial area of the town.
Mouth-tingling Jerk flavours dominate the local cuisine with distinct recipes using everything from shrimp and lobster to chicken and pork. Top off your culinary adventure with refreshing local fruits such as akee or star apples.
When to go:
A year-round tropical climate makes Jamaica a favoured cruise destination. Afternoons may be hot and humid at sea level, but higher inland regions have a more temperate, cooler climate. Jamaica’s dry season runs from December to April and this is a good time to visit, but the summer months offer the best rates for holiday visitors.