Giants of the Seas

Giants of the Seas: Jamaica Meets the Mega-Ships was produced as a thesis project for the University of Miami Multimedia Journalism program. Graduate student Jesse Swanson made three trips to Jamaica to document the transformation of a small town into a major port of call for the world’s largest cruise ships.

At first Jesse was interested in exploring the connection between Jamaica and South Florida. On his first trip to Jamaica he learned about Royal Caribbean’s plans for Falmouth. It was clear the construction of the cruise ship pier would have major social, economic, and environmental impact on the town.

Jesse interviewed fishermen, politicians, merchants, contractors and those displaced by the development. He witnessed the port’s grand opening and the maiden calls of the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas in March 2011 and saw both the excitement and disappointment.

The transformation of Falmouth, Jamaica continues and Jesse hopes this project will shed light on one community’s struggle to adapt to the arrival of mass tourism.

This project was filmed with a 5dmk11 an HMC150 and a Marantz.