The Cruise Season in Brazil Is Back

Maritime cruises can return to the Brazilian coast in November. The agreement authorizes the start of the 2021-22 season, starting with six ships setting sail from Brazil (two from Costa Cruises and four from MSC Cruises), and one MSC ship sailing from Argentina and making stops in Brazil. The authorization was confirmed by the country's minister of rourism, Gilson Machado Neto, after a meeting with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) of Brazil, cruise companies, and representatives of the Ministries of Tourism, Justice, Infrastructure, and Health.

Ships will start sailing in Brazilian waters again between November 2021 and April 2022, allowing Brazilians and foreigners to join over 2 million travelers who have returned to sailing in nearly 50 countries. This should introduce 2.5 billion Brazilian real (about $500 million) into the national economy and generate more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs.

There will be 130 routes and 570 stops at iconic national destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Salvador, Angra dos Reis, Balneário Camboriú, Búzios, Cabo Frio, Fortaleza, Ilha Grande, Ilhabela, Ilhéus, Itajaí, Maceió, Porto Belo, Recife and Ubatuba.

CLIA Brazil and other cruise line entities will work with Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to implement additional procedures to ensure safety. A pre-boarding test on all guests with rigorous screening by a medical team at each port is mandatory and crew members will undergo three tests before boarding (in the city where they reside, when the plane arrives at the ship's destination, and a third time before boarding). This is repeated every week on board.

Initially, the ships will operate with 70 percent of their maximum guest capacity. Onboard security initiatives include use of masks at all common areas, social distancing, reduced occupation, fresh air without recirculation and constant disinfection and cleaning. A contingency plan, specially trained medical staff for constant assessments, continuous monitoring and structure with all modern resources to serve guests and crew are part of the health initiatives.

Excursions include special protocols, co-ordination with local authorities and cancellation of re-boarding for guests who do not comply with the rules. In addition, each company has its own health and safety programs.

Brazil has over 100 million people fully vaccinated (until October), which impacts pandemic control and creates a safe environment along with public policies, such as the "Responsible Tourism Seal," which certifies establishments that follow all health protocols. 

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