Puerto Rico is now a paradise for cruise tourism

Friday, November 10, 2023



As the Caribbean cruise sector ramps up operations from November 2023 to April 2024, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority anticipates a busy winter season.

The season will begin on December 10, 2023, with the arrival of Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, which will carry 4,000 passengers.

Officials from the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company are optimistic about the next peak season, which includes 264 ship trips to the San Juan cruise ports. Nineteen cruise lines are planned to call in San Juan, including Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages, Ritz-Carlton and MSC Cruises. Notably, 10 ships will make their first calls, while 15 will provide homeport services.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, has two cruise ports that handle around 500 cruise ships every year. With a capacity of seven ships, the San Juan Bay terminal is suitable for day tourists, providing easy access to Old San Juan’s sights, restaurants, and landmarks. Puerto Rico is a popular stop for major cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and Disney. Two cruise ships dock at the Pan American terminal, near the airport and conference centre, giving extra accessibility for visitors experiencing the dynamic city and its surrounding surroundings.

Infrastructure enhancements planned in 2022 as part of a 30-year management agreement between Global Ports Holding (GPH) and the San Juan Cruise Port are part of the peak season preparations. GPH promised a $100 million investment on Piers 1 and 4, as well as the Pan American Pier, to help improve the port’s overall condition. The Ports Authority received $75 million in upfront concession fees from GPH.

The Puerto Rico Ports Authority’s executive director, Pizá Batiz, highlighted completed enhancement projects such as dock repairs, road resurfacing, and transfer programmes for cruise passengers arriving at Luis Muoz Marin International Airport.

While Disney Dream will officially begin the winter season in December 2023, many ships will call in San Juan in November 2023. TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 6, Explora I, Oceania Cruises’ Vista, and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova are among them.

Despite a drop in cruise arrivals during the epidemic, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is aggressively working with cruise companies to increase island visits. Carlos Mercado, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, voiced optimism about the island’s cruise industry’s continuous resurgence, emphasising trust in Puerto Rico as an appealing and first-class Caribbean destination. Puerto Rico remains committed to promoting the expansion of the cruise sector in order to benefit tourism and the local economy.

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