ST JAMES, Jamaica — With Americans being vaccinated against COVID-19 at a very fast rate, Jamaica could see the return of cruise shipping in the short term, local officials and stakeholders argue.

A good sign, they say, is the announcement by the Royal Caribbean Group, the second largest cruise company in the world behind Carnival Cruise Line, that they will resume cruising in June 2021 for vaccinated crew members and guests.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his recent budget debate presentation, noted that Jamaica was keeping a close tab as to what is happening in the United States, making a direct link between the rapid pace of the vaccination exercise in that country and a potentially earlier than expected return of cruise shipping to the island.