Trelawny Parish lies along the northern coast of Jamaica. Long past its sugar plantation heyday, Trelawny and its capital Falmouth have entered a new era of as a cruise hotspot. Whether you step off the cruise shop right in Falmouth or you visit as part of a multi-city Jamaica vacation, a visit to the north of the island is a treat. Less than 20 miles from Montego Bay and a three-hour drive from Kingston, it’s easy to find Trelawny with its perfectly laid-out grid of streets and elegant Georgian architecture.

The parish, the fifth largest in Jamaica, takes its name from William Trelawny, governor of Jamaica in the 1760s. Its main town was named for the town founder’s birthplace in Cornwall, England, and most of the land was owned by Edward Moulton Barrett. His great-granddaughter Elizabeth Barrett Browning, accessed some of the family’s wealth from Jamaica thanks to a generous uncle. He took pity on the young woman who was disinherited after marrying the poet Robert Browning. Today, Falmouth certainly looks different than it did in Trelawny’s day, but there are still many places to experience its British roots.

Falmouth Pier & Cruise Port

Trelawny, Jamaica
Trelawny, Jamaica

When the port opened in 2011, Trelawny transformed from a sleepy little village to a desired destination. The $180 million project, which blended seamlessly with the town’s architecture, was long in the works. The expansive port was built with two berths large enough for the largest cruise ships. Once passengers disembark from their ship, they’ll steep into a state-of-the-art terminal, where it’s easy to find travel advice and start city tours. From the dock, it’s just steps to the newly built shopping district, home to some of the best retail and dining along the northern coast of Jamaica.

Cruiseship Shore Excursions

While there is plenty to do at the cruise port, those who venture inland will find plenty of things to do. The list of Jamaica shore excursions is long, so that means there’s something for everyone. If you’d prefer to relax, you could take a leisurely trolley tour to soak in the views of the Georgian-style architecture or lounge on the beach. A few of the historic sites are still open to tour, including the home of Edward Barrett and Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, just steps away from Falmouth’s restaurants and boutiques.

Another popular shore excursion is a rum plantation tour. Starting from the cruise ship or one of the resorts, a typical tour visits a sugar plantation where the crop is harvested and turned into rum. After a demonstration of the distilling process, you’ll have to chance to sample the Jamaica-made spirit and enjoy lunch in the quiet countryside. For those looking for adventure, it’s not difficult to find. The beaches of Falmouth are there to enjoy, too, and they’re not far from caves and the waterfalls, part of the natural wonders found in northern Jamaica along with Blue Mountains National Park.   

Trelawny Resorts & Hotels

Trelawny Resorts & Hotels
Trelawny Resorts & Hotels

If you’re spending the night on an Oasis-class cruise ship, the resorts and hotels in Trelawny will provide a comfortable place to anchor for the night. Both the hotels and all-inclusive resorts pack in the amenities as well as the views. For instance, Breezes Trelawny Resort & Spa (pictured) is nestled on a white-sand beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Guests of the 350-room resort have access to a long list of things to do, including a large pool complex, watersports, and kids activities. Complimentary shuttle service is available to take you to some Falmouth and other locations around Trelawny Parish.

Top image: beantmt (flickr)


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