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  • couple-watching-sunset-in-Jamaica - A couple watches one of Jamaica's scenic sunsets.
  • color-boat-Falmouth-Jamaica - A scene along the beach and tropical waters of Falmouth, a popular cruise destination in Jamaica.
  • golf-Falmouth-Jamaica - White Witch Golf Course near Falmouth, Jamaica.
  • lady-selling-shrimp-Jamaica - A vendor selling pepper shrimp in Jamaica.
  • hummingbird-jamaica - Gotta have nectar! An electric green-colored hummingbird in Jamaica.
  • tropical-flower-Jamaica - A tropical flower in Jamaica.
  • Jamaican-plantain-tarts - For a snack try some tasty Jamaican plantain tarts (they look like turnovers but the locals call them tarts).
  • ackee-apple-jamaica - An ackee apple in Jamaica. It's the national fruit of Jamaica and a food staple in the diet of many Jamaicans.
  • green-parrot-Jamaica - Jamaica is home to a variety of gorgeous parrots, some endangered, some prolific.
  • Navigator-of-the-Seas-at-sea-2 - Navigator of the Seas offers two seven-night itineraries to the Western Caribbean, both with several days at sea. One visits Cozumel, Mexico, Roatan, Honduras, and Belize City. The other calls at Cozumel, Mexico, Falmouth, Jamaica, and George Town, Grand Cayman.

Falmouth port guide: What to do & see

our guide

The vibe

Falmouth is the newest port of call in Jamaica, located in between two popular tourist destinations: Montego Bay and Ochos Rios.

 
  CRUISEABLE PORT GUIDES
 
 
 

Falmouth was founded in 1769 and its waterfront district is a National Heritage Site that contains many Georgian-era buildings dating from the 1760s to 1840s.

Recent revitalization has brought riches in the form of cruise ships, vibrant retail establishments and bustling restaurants. Popular excursions include rafting on the jungle-clad Martha Brae River and visiting modern producers of sugar and rum.

Cruise ships that call on Falmouth

Top reasons to go

  • Visit the Albert George Historical Centre and residences that date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Catch a cricket match at Greenfield Stadium, about 3 miles from the town center.
  • Take a stroll on Time N Place beach.
Jamaica is home to a variety of gorgeous parrots, some endangered, some prolific.
Wendy Lee / Jamaica Tourist BoardJamaica is home to a variety of gorgeous parrots, some endangered, some prolific.

Top things to do & see 

History

Water Square is in the center of Falmouth, near the Albert George Market which was built in 1895 and named for Queen Victoria's two sons. Today it is a craft market with relics of Falmouth's past on display.

Attractions 

Trelawney Luminous Lagoon is one of only five bioluminescent bays in the world; tour boats carry up to 30 people to view the bioluminescence caused by microorganisms that emit a phosphorescent glow when disturbed. Burwood and Silver Beach are the closest beaches to the dock in Falmouth.

Shopping

Falmouth is Royal Caribbean International's newest cruise port, and the first ever thematic cruise port destination. Shops offer tourist goods such as shirts and bags, along with liquor, jewelry and such. Locally crafted Items are more expensive here than outside the port area. Only cruise-ship passengers are allowed to shop in the port area. A large iron fence separates the port from the rest of Falmouth, and passengers must pass through manned checkpoints to enter. 

YOLO (You only live once!)

Take a raft ride on a 30-foot bamboo raft that can be either romantic or adventurous down the Martha Brae River. The raft captain will guide you down, explaining some of the island's tropical scenery. 

Dining & cuisine

Experience the culture of Jamaica by sampling its famous cuisine. The island is known for its signature dish, pork or chicken marinated in “jerk” spices and cooked on an open grill. Other cuisine is a mix of West African, English, East Indian, French and Chinese, with a touch of Spanish thrown in for spice.

Falmouth is famous for a variety of locally concocted jerk recipes, some incorporating seafood as well as chicken or pork. Local fruits such as mango, ackee, breadfruit and star apple add to the cultural experience. Curried goat, callaloo (a leaf vegetable similar to turnip greens) and salt-fish are also popular dishes. For dessert, try Blue Draws, sometimes called Duckunoos, a traditional dish introduced by West African slaves. It is a combination of sweet potatoes, coconut, bananas, vanilla, and brown sugar cooked into a thick pudding, and tied in banana leaves and boiled.

A heliconia plant, a vividly colored tropical plant spotted all around Jamaica.
Jamaica Tourist BoardA heliconia plant, a vividly colored tropical plant spotted all around Jamaica.

Best time to go

Note that it's always warm in Jamaica but somewhat cooler from December to April,  which is an ideal time to go. The rainy season starts in late April or early May and extends into early October. Rain is most common in the late afternoons. The dry season is much less humid.  Hurricane season starts in June and peaks from August to early October.

Fun facts

  • Usain Bolt, the Olympic sprint champion and fastest man in history, hails from Falmouth.
  • The town was meticulously planned from the start, with wide streets in a regular grid, adequate water supply and public buildings. It even had piped water before New York City.
  • During the British colonial period, Falmouth was known as  “the wealthiest New World Port south of Charleston.”
White Witch Golf Course near Falmouth.
MoreThanGolf / Creative Commons BYWhite Witch Golf Course near Falmouth.

When you arrive

Docking information

Cruise ships dock at a new pier terminal built just a few years ago. There is a small shopping area, but to get anywhere on the island you will need to arrange transportation.

Getting around

Taxis are widely available outside of the shopping terminal at the port. Local service rates are regulated by the Town of Falmouth. A taxi to Montego Bay takes about 30 minutes, and Ocho Rios is about an hour away.

Taxis fares are charged per car, not per passenger. It is recommended to agree on a price before getting into the cab. Look for taxis with red license plates marked “PPV” (Public Passenger Vehicle) as these are the only cabs that are registered and approved by the government. Using a non-approved taxi can be dangerous and should absolutely be avoided. 

For travel between towns, minibuses are the way to go, and travel on a Jamaican minibus certainly makes for an interesting cultural experience. Prepare to compete with other passengers'  luggage of varying sizes and contents. Prices can vary, and there aren’t published schedules. Since it's less reliable from a timing point of view, arranging a private or shared ride with your own taxi or minibus is recommended.

Free wi-fi

  • Club Nazz, 23 Market Street, Falmouth, about half a mile from the port
  • Shapes & Flava Bar N' Grill, 24 Market Street, Falmouth

Need to know

Documents: A passport is required to enter Jamaica. 

Language: English is the official language of Jamaica. A local Creole dialect known as patois (pronounced "pa-twa") is widely spoken. 

Currency: The Jamaican dollar (JMD) is the official unit of currency. U.S. dollars, traveler's checks and credit cards are widely accepted. You'll be able to pay with U.S. dollars at nearly every restaurant and shop in town, but be prepared to get change in Jamaican dollars if U.S. currency is not available. 

Store hours: Most stores are open Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and closed on Sunday. Some stores in the cruise terminal may stay open on Sunday.

Safety: As always, use caution at night and/or when exploring beyond the tourist areas. Do not do business with or travel with strangers who approach you, and avoid frequenting ATM machines after dark.

Your take

Have you been to Falmouth? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight?

ShoreFox and Wikivoyage contributed to this article. 

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The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

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Overheard

“Local entrepreneur Janet Crick leads a half-day food tour of Falmouth which takes you from roadside vendors to restaurants, tasting jerk chicken and gizzada (a coconut filled tart) along the way.”

AFAR magazine

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