AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cruise: San Juan, Tampa

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Puerto Rico: Record Cruise Day at San Juan

History was made November 30, when six cruise ships carrying a record 24,117 passengers docked in the Port of San Juan. The previous record 17,847 cruise passengers – was set February 25, 2015.  

The ships that tied up at the Puerto Rico Ports Authority’s cruise complex in Old San Juan included the Carnival Glory, Carnival Magic, Anthem of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Norwegian Breakaway and the Balmoral.
According to Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, the economic impact on the island’s economy of those 24,117 passengers amounted to $2.2 million.

That was in addition to the estimated $1.2 million impact resulting from the visit to San Juan the day before of seven cruise ships Silver Wind, Club Med 2, Celebrity Silhouette, Crystal Serenity, Oosterdam, Eurodam and Freedom of the Seas.

Port Authority Executive Director Ingrid Colberg Rodriquez said the up surge in cruise traffic was due in great part to the $10.5 million Pier 3 expansion to accommodate ultra large vessels, including Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class.

The 99 dockings so far of these megaships produced an economic impact on Puerto Rico of $54 million in less than two years. She also credited the homeporting of Disney Cruise and the Norwegian Gem in San Juan after a decade’s absence to the $2.5 million upgrade of the port authority’s Pan-American Terminal.

These initiatives, she said, had helped stabilize port authority’s finances and stimulate economic development by restoring the cruise industry’s confidence in the port.

Royal Caribbean to Offer Cruises to Cuba from Tampa

Empress of the Seas will begin sailing to Cuba from Port Tampa Bay in April 2017.
Photo/Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) will offer cruises to Cuba on a newly announced service from Port Tampa Bay, beginning April 30, 2017, on the recently upgraded, 1,850-passenger capacity Empress of the Seas. It will be the cruise line’s first summer program from Tampa. Details on the planned series of four- and five-night sailings will be released later.  

"The Tampa Bay market has always been important to us, and the entire family at Royal Caribbean is excited to give our guests great year-round options to travel on one of our beautiful ships from a world-class port like Port Tampa Bay," said Michael Bayley RCI’s president & CEO. "We are thrilled to introduce culture-seeking travelers to Cuba from Tampa and we look forward to continuing to grow our business in Tampa for years to come."

Empress of the Seas will join RCI’s 2,543-passenger, Brilliance of the Seas, and 2,416-passenger, Rhapsody of the Seas in RCI’s Tampa-based lineup.

"This is truly historic for Port Tampa Bay to have cruises to Cuba and we are thrilled that Royal Caribbean has chosen Port Tampa Bay to offer the largest ship to sail to Cuba from the United States. To have three Royal Caribbean ships in 2017 is exciting for cruise passengers seeking new and innovative experiences," said Port President Paul Anderson. "Royal Caribbean guests will have the opportunity to sail out of Port Tampa Bay all year long for the very first time. We are excited to welcome the Empress of the Seas this summer, and we look forward to continuing to be a great partner with Royal Caribbean and a top cruise port for them for years to come."




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