QCOSTARICA – On Monday, the 2021-2022 cruise season, which began in September 2021 after almost two years of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.in Puntarenas came to an end.
The season closed with the arrival of the cruise ship MS Queen Elizabeth with 1,307 passengers and 913 crew members. The cruise ship remained docked for 8 hours, while its passengers (tourists) visited Monteverde, Jacó, Sarchí and Esparza, among other locations.
Widman Cruz, Executive President of the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico (INCOP) – Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports, stated that during the cruise 2021-2022 season more than 30,000 tourists visited Costa Rica.
Cruz commented that the mandate of President Rodrigo Chaves is to modernize the port and implement strategies to attract more cruise ships to Puntarenas.
The Puntarenas tourism chambers claim that tourists who arrive on cruise ships do not invest in the canton, since they visit other places on pre-arranged excursions.
However, the Junta Promotora de Turismo (a division of the INCOP) defends the economic reactivation of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops in the port town.
The ship arrived from Aruba, crossing the Panama Canal. Its complete 43-night itinerary departed from England, traveling through the Caribbean, crossing the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, and ending in Vancouver, Canada.
“Without a doubt, the Pacific ports started this cruise season quite strongly, despite the harsh pandemic that severely affected the cruise industry for more than 17 months with the closure of the borders to maritime tourism,” said Widman Cruz.