An agreement between two ports of Falmouth on opposite sides of the world got the royal seal of approval from Prince Harry during his recent tour of the Caribbean.
Falmouth, Jamaica and Falmouth, Cornwall have entered into a sister port relationship to promote good will and friendship with each other. The agreement was formally signed at the cruise industry’s largest trade show, Cruise Shipping Miami, last week.
The ports of Falmouth, which have historical links and many similarities, hope the agreement will encourage greater economic benefits – even though they are thousands of miles apart.
Falmouth, Jamaica was founded in 1769 and is considered one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved towns from the Georgian era. It was named after Falmouth, Cornwall, the birthplace of Sir William Trelawny, the Governor of Jamaica, who was instrumental in its establishment.
Following a $220 million development, Falmouth, Jamaica, is one of the Caribbean’s premier cruise destinations. Falmouth, Cornwall, reputed to be the third largest natural harbour in the world, is an increasingly popular stop for cruises, with 34 cruises and around 22,000 passengers calling at the port in 2012.
Following the signing of the document in Miami, the agreement was carried back to Falmouth, Cornwall for signature by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners – following the old Packet ships tradition, which for 150 years was the only means of transporting mail in and out of Britain. By the early 1700s Packet ships were sailing regularly to Jamaica.
Mike Reynolds, A&P Falmouth’s Port Operations Director, said: “We are proud to be able to highlight the fantastic ongoing relationship and historical links we have with our namesake in Jamaica.
“Falmouth has been able to develop a marvelous cruise destination, which can accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships and is now paying dividends in terms of the wider local economy. This is something we would love to be able to emulate, albeit on a much smaller scale, in Falmouth, Cornwall, and who knows, perhaps one day we will be promoting a cruise from Falmouth to Falmouth.”
William Tatham, of the Port of Jamaica Falmouth, said: “We were delighted to show Prince Harry around our historic port of Falmouth and he was keen to learn about the economic impact the development has had. I was also able to tell him about the sistering of the ports, which he thought was a good idea.”
Sister porting is common in the marine industry and provides opportunities to share expertise and knowledge on all aspects of port operation. It is hoped the agreement between the ports of Falmouth will benefit both sides in terms of meaningful partnerships, cultural understanding, strengthened economic development, new ideas and business contacts.
David Ellis, Chairman of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, said: “We welcome this wonderful opportunity to build on our relationship with our friends in Jamaica, recognising the similarities between the two ports and the benefit the international links will bring.”