Puntarenas, Costa Rica celebrates arrival of the first great cruise of the season
The Serenade of the Seas boat arrived at “El Puerto” with 694 passengers
The Serenade of the Seas, a large cruise ship of the Norwegian-American shipping company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, arrived this Friday at 6:30 am at the port of Puntarenas with 694 cruise passengers and 819 crew members. It is the first vessel to arrive at the cruise dock after 19 months since the start of the pandemic.
The Serenade of the Seas is the second cruise to reach national ports since the reopening of maritime tourism for the 2021-2022 season on September 1.
This vessel has a capacity for 2,501 passengers, however, it is operating at 30% of its capacity to maintain a stricter control of biosafety protocols on board and during excursions in each port it visits. It reaches the Pacific coast of our country from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and will continue its journey to Cartagena, Colombia.
It also registers a weight of 90 090 tons, has a total of 13 decks and 293 meters in length (length). Likewise, the cruise ship has elevators, a gym, a library, a casino, a theater, a games room, an exhibition hall, shops, a beauty and hairdressing salon, a disco, among other amenities for the enjoyment of its passengers.
“The arrival of the Serenade of the Seas, as well as the recent participation of the country in the most important cruise fair in the world - Seatrade Cruise Global 2021 in Miami, Florida-, constitute encouraging messages to the coastal regions and to the hundreds of people who They live off this tourism niche through its multiple chains, at a time when more positive numbers are predicted with a view to the start of the high season, ”said Gustavo J. Segura, Rector Minister of Tourism.
During their stay in Costa Rica, cruise passengers may opt for tours to Monteverde, Esparza, La Guácima, Aranjuez de Puntarenas, San Ramón, Naranjo, Tárcoles, Sarchí and a tour of downtown Puntarenas.
In the welcoming ceremony, the rector of Tourism, Gustavo J. Segura Sancho; Juan Ramón Rivera, president of the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports (INCOP); Wilbert Madriz, mayor of Puntarenas and Gerald Brenes, operations assistant of the shipping agent ILG Logistics, among other representatives of the community.
“The resumption of the cruise season in the country will contribute a lot to the tourist reactivation of Puntarenas, since cruises are key to the economy of thousands of people who are dedicated to this industry, from tour operators to artisans. The arrival of the Serenade of the Seas is the starting point for the recovery of many jobs that had been lost in this industry during this pandemic ”, explained Juan Ramón Rivera, executive president of the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports (INCOP).
Strict biosafety protocols
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd's biosafety protocol includes the installation of hospital grade high efficiency particulate filters (HEPA) along with a UV-C (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) air removal process and electrostatic sprays to disinfect all surfaces on board. of ships.
As a primary requirement to board, the shipping company asks all its passengers and crew for two doses of the vaccine or the single-dose vaccine against COVID-19 with a reasonable time of 14 days from its application before entering the cruise. In the case of the crew, by order of the Royal Caribbean Shipping Company, they must remain on the boat and not go out to visit the port cities where they arrive.
The country allows the entry of cruise ships with passengers with the complete Covid-19 vaccination scheme for 95% of the crew and 100% of the passengers of vaccination age.
Most of the United States citizens travel on the Serenade of the Seas ship, also from the Bahamas, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Peru and the United Kingdom.
The arrival of these cruise ships is made possible, as a modification has been published in La Gaceta, which governs since October 7, the mechanism for obtaining the necessary epidemiological information on cruise passengers, to adapt it to the operating conditions of that activity and at the same time maintain an adequate epidemiological follow-up by the health authorities.
Traditionally, the country received around 250,000 cruise passengers annually. In 2019, the cruise industry generated an economic impact of more than US $ 29.2 million and created more than 10,000 jobs in the country's port cities.