MIAMI, Aug. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ –The return of international cruise lines to Colombia is a reality. On Tuesday August 24th, the first cruise docked at the Port of Cartagena, after more than a year and a half without shipping companies arriving in Colombia. This means the cruise season 2021-2022 officially begins in the country! So far, 26 cruise lines are projected to arrive in Cartagena and seven in Santa Marta, both cities located in the Greater Caribbean region of the country. This represents a recovery of 57% of the calls the country had for the 2019-2020 season.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, María Ximena Lombana Villalba, said that «we continue working for the safe economic reactivation of the country and its tourism sector. In addition to what has been achieved for the return of shipping companies to the country, we have made great efforts to comply with the biosecurity measures implemented in the city and activate all the actors in the chain».
In addition, she highlighted the measures determined in a new legal framework where «it was requested that the crew of the cruise ships must be vaccinated and the vessels must have effective measures aimed, if there are positive cases of COVID-19, to identify symptomatic passengers and have spaces available for isolation».
The cruise is the Star Breeze, from the Windstar Cruises line, which reached the Cartagena coast with 312 passengers and 190 crew members. The navigation is on a 14-day itinerary that visits the destinations of Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia and Panama. The local tour for the cruise passengers included a visit to San Felipe Fortress, the Old City, as well as an exclusive Colombian coffee tasting.
Other lines already have stipulated to arrive in Cartagena such as Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Scenic Luxury Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises; and for Santa Marta the Norwegian and Ritz Carlton Yacht, among others, are expected to arrive.
For Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the agency in charge of promoting tourism in Colombia, this first call was achieved thanks to the articulated work between all the players in the industry. «This is a key sector for the development and safe economic reactivation of the country because it generates income of more than 60 million dollars per season. For this reason, since last year all the entities linked to the cruise industry have worked on a common purpose to make a safe return for both passengers and destinations».
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