Picturesque Portland in the northeast section of Jamaica is a quiet coastal town with an understated charm. Featured in famous Hollywood films such as “Club Paradise,” “Cocktail,” and the James Bond franchise, its capital city of Port Antonio is definitely no stranger to glitz and glamour, despite its humble appearance.
The Ken Wright Pier at the Errol Flynn Marina is just one of the cruise ship ports in Jamaica. As a call port, it mainly receives visits from small-sized and premium cruise ships. Here, you are surrounded by the open blue sea and flourishing mountain ranges. Visitors on a cruise stopover can seek adventure in an abundance of flowing waters, sweeping forests, and historic sites.
Things to Do
A Glimpse of Glamorous History
In the 19th century, Port Antonio was known as the banana capital of the world. The town became a revered vacation destination for some of the world’s most elite visitors and a haven for wealthy merchants. It is frequented by those looking for awe-inspiring nature and a low-key escape from tourist traps. In and around the area are elegant, old buildings reminiscent of the city’s sophisticated past.
From the marina, you can take a five-minute stroll to start a 2.5-kilometer walking tour highlighting nine historic sites, from Musgrave Market to Folly Point Lighthouse. Driving five minutes away from your ship are the ruins of a mansion, now known as Folly Ruins, resulting from a collapsed roof in the 1930s. The remaining structure still manages to reflect a glimmer of the mansion’s original grandeur, and often acts as a contrasting backdrop for artistic images and videos.
Rivers and Beaches
Fifteen minutes from the port, you can marvel for two to three hours at the beauty of pristine nature wrapped in the Rio Grande Valley on a leisurely bamboo raft down the calm river. Rafts were originally used to transport produce to the coast for export until actor Errol Flynn popularized the activity for pleasure. He subsequently purchased Navy Island after arriving in Jamaica.
As you drive along the humped coast, on one side you’ll notice small wooden stalls showcasing hanging goods while the other side reveals a view of the sea, occasionally interrupted by greenery. Somerset Falls is a popular attraction 20 minutes out with a collection of cyan cascades pouring over hillside boulders into shallow caves and welcoming pools. In the opposite direction 15-20 minutes away lies a collection of gems. Frenchman's Cove is considered one of Jamaica's most beautiful beaches with a river mouth by the powdery sand flowing into the gradient sea and framed by large rocky structures. The quieter San San Beach rests nearby, as does the mystical hue of the deep Blue Lagoon. Both offer boat rides to an offshore bushy islet, Monkey Island.
An hour from your ship, deep in unspoiled forests of the John Crow Mountain Range lies Reach Falls. Its centerpiece waterfall cascades down a large rock face into a mostly shallow, clear pool populated by tiny fish camouflaged within the stony river bed. Portland’s Boston community along the way is famous for its beach, a treasure for surfing enthusiasts! Surfing in Jamaica is a luxury limited to a handful of beaches, so enjoy it while you’re here.
Home of Jerk Cuisine
The Boston area is also credited as the birthplace of jerk cuisine. It is one of the most ideal locations to try authentic pimento-smoked dishes crackling with our flavorful island spice. The area is said to be home to the original jerk pits from the 1940s, which eventually transformed into the renowned Boston Jerk Center known today.