Carnival Cruise Line celebrated the grand opening of Rainforest Adventure’s Rockland Estate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new eco-park attraction. The event included government officials, including Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and Governor Dr. Eugene Holiday, Rainforest Adventures president Josef Preschel, officers from Carnival Sunshine which was in port for the festivities, and Carnival Corporation executives, including David Candib, vice president of development and operations for the global port and destination development group.
With financing from Carnival Corporation and built by Rainforest Adventures, Rockland Estate is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers something for everyone with a variety of thrill-seeking adventures, including the world’s steepest zip line, a mountain chair lift with breathtaking views, a heart-racing tube ride and a museum showcasing the rich history and culture of St. Maarten and its people.
Rockland Estate is considered an eco-adventure park committed to preserving native eco-systems while ensuring the sustainability of the estate’s physical and intangible attributes. The overall goal of the Rainforest Adventures team in building the attraction was to enhance and preserve St. Maarten’s natural and built environments and endorse its cultural and historical significance, while also promoting education through adventure.
Located on the historic Emilio Wilson Estate a short ride from St. Maarten’s Port of Philipsburg Cruise Terminal, Rockland Estate eco-park encompasses the widest variety of thrill rides and attractions in the Caribbean. The lineup features:
- Soualiga Sky Explorer: Soualiga Sky Explorer encompasses 68 four-passenger chairs that take guests to a transfer station for zip line and tubing rides, and then on to the top of one of St. Maarten’s highest points at 1,125 feet where they can take in spectacular panoramic views.
- Sentry Hill Zip Line: From the transfer station at the midpoint of the Soualiga Sky Explorer, guests can experience the exciting Sentry Hill Zip Line, where riders traverse a 1,600-foot, four-span line that provides unforgettable vistas of the mountain ridge.
- Schooner Ride: The Schooner Ride at the midway point of the Soualiga Sky Explorer gives guests the chance to surf down the mountain in large 40-inch inner tubes across a specially designed 657-foot track of heart-pounding curves mixed with fast straightaways.
- Top of Sentry Hill: One of Maarten’s highest elevations, Sentry Hill, offers walkways and platforms that encircle the mountaintop, showcasing 360-degree vistas of the island with views of neighboring Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius and Anguilla.
- Flying Dutchman: The Flying Dutchman is Rockland Estate’s main attraction and the world’s steepest zip line. It guarantees thrill-seekers the ride of a lifetime while securely harnessed in a chair, dropping them 1,050 feet in elevation from the top of Sentry Hill down the mountain over a 2,800-foot span.
- Emilio Wilson Museum: Originally built as a plantation home in the 1700s, the museum tells the powerful story of Trace Wilson, who was born into slavery on the property, and her direct descendant, St. Maarten pioneer and preservationist Emilio Wilson. It also highlights the customs, traditions, lifestyle and stories that have earned St. Maarten the moniker “The Friendly Island.”
Guests from eight Carnival Corporation’s brands with itineraries visiting the island will have the opportunity to experience the new shore excursion, recently named a top Caribbean attraction by USA Today 10Best.