Colombia’s cruise season has officially begun, with the first cruise docking at the Port of Cartagena on August 24. Already, 33 cruise lines are projected to arrive in the Greater Caribbean region—26 in Cartagena and seven in Santa Marta—representing 57 percent recovery of the calls the country had for the 2019-20 season.
The cruise leading the fray is Star Breeze, from Windstar Cruises, which reached the Cartagena coast with 312 passengers and 190 crew members. The navigation, on a 14-day itinerary, visits the destinations of Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia and Panama. The local tour for the passengers included a visit to San Felipe Fortress, the Old City, as well as an exclusive Colombian coffee tasting.
Other lines stipulated to arrive in Cartagena include Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Scenic Luxury Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises. For Santa Marta, Norwegian Cruise Line and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht, among others, are expected to arrive.
The economic reactivation of tourism in Colombia has played a major role in bolstering the confidence of cruise lines. The minister of trade, industry and tourism, María Ximena Lombana Villalba, stated in a press release that they have made great efforts to comply with the biosecurity measures in the city and activate all the actors in the chain.
In addition, she said, “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 industry generates an income of more than 60 million dollars per season in Colombia.