A fourth and little-known cruise port in Jamaica welcomed its third cruise ship in a year when Saga Cruises' Saga Pearl II made its maiden call at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio with 368 passengers and 277 crew on March 1.

Long in the shadow of the much larger ports of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, and now the just-opened cruise port in Falmouth, Port Antonio's heyday ended a 20-year run in the early 1980s when five smaller cruise ships ended their weekly calls at the Errol Flynn Marina (formerly the Ken Wright Shipping Pier).

"The Port Authority of Jamaica is determined to attract smaller-size vessels to this port, so we are ecstatic about this visit. It's all about fostering good relations with cruise lines," William Tatham, vice president of cruise shipping and marina operations, told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Since 2010, cruise vessels have docked in Port Antonio three times: in February 2010, last month and this week.

Craft vendors were on hand to welcome passengers as were several local tour companies, which organized excursions to Port Antonio's attractions.

The PAJ and Saga Cruises hosted a barbecue along the beach at the marinawith entertainment provided by a Jamaican steel band.

Saga Cruises returns to the Caribbean next January on a 39-day cruise from England, but Jamaica is not listed as a port of call at this time.

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