Nearly 2,000 passengers recently arrived in Cartagena on board the Grandeur of the Seas – one of the largest ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Royal Caribbean International’s new route includes Cartagena and Santa Marta for the vessel’s 2010-2011 itinerary.
The Grandeur of the Seas is the 22nd cruise ship to arrive in Colombia, a blossoming cruise destination this season. The ongoing cruise season, which kicked off in October and ends in May, is expected to bring a total of 208 ships to Colombia.
According to ProExport, the cruise ships will bring an estimated 500,000 passengers with them, whose presence will contribute $40 million to the country’s economy.
In 2007, 99 ships arrived to Colombian ports carrying a total of 126,890 cruise passengers; in 2008, 161 ships arrived with 228,221 passengers on board. By the end of 2009, 218 cruise ships arrived in Colombia, carrying with them a total of 346,693 passengers. It is estimated that each visitor, who descends from a cruise ship into the cities, spends on average 120 US dollars for taxis, restaurants, services and souvenirs – a total that, when aggregated, results in a major boost to the local economy.