The Disney Wonder docked in Costa Rica this April 15, at the Muelle de Cruceros (Cruiship pier) in Puntarenas, after a 7-year absence in the country.

Photo Marvin Caravaca / El Financiero

The ship reached the Tica Pacific coast at 7:00 a.m., arriving from Cartagena, Colombia with 2,003 passengers and left at 5:00 p.m. headed for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The Disney Wonder, that entered service in 1999, has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,400 passengers in 875 staterooms, and a crew of approximately 950. Her maiden voyage was a four-night Bahamian cruise that commenced on August 15, 1999. The Magic-class (Disney) cruise ship is 294 meters (964 ft) long, and a cruising speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph).

Mauricio Ventura, Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, assured that the return of the Disney cruiseliner is the result of work to revive the cruise industry in Costa Rica.

“The arrival of this prestigious company of international renown will allow us to position ourselves in this industry; however, the actions require a detailed follow-up to ensure the consolidation of Costa Rica as an attraction for the cruceritas,” said Ventura.

For his part, when announcing his arrival in Costa Rica, on March 6, the manager of Disney Cruise Line, Arnaldo Zanonato, stressed that Costa Rica has a very special brand. “When we talk about the country, passengers think about nature and many things that are already positioned in their minds, so it is easy to convince them to take the cruise and visit the country,” said the manager.

Cruise ship arrivals increased in the last two years from 150 to 250. During 2016-2017 season Costa Rica welcomed 100 more cruises than in 2014-2015. Out of the 250 cruises during 2016-2017, a total of 132 docked in the Caribbean (Limon port). The average spending of cruise passengers in the country is US$100.

According to a report by Cruisemapper.com, Costa Rica is seeking alliances with a variety of companies to eventually become a “home port”, but, for this to become a reality the country has a lot of improvements to make in the infrastructure and logistics, still far behind the conditions offered in Colon, Panama or Cartagena, Colombia.