Cruise tourism in Latin America is rapidly recovering and in some cases demand is again at pre pandemic level, according to Alberto Muñoz, Royal Caribbean vice-president for the region.
Latin America is surprising. When sanitary travel requirements were lifted, Latin America started to react very positively towards Royal Caribbean products, Muñoz told an audience of tourism operators, during the presentation of the Icon of the Seas, scheduled to become the largest cruise vessel in the world, and which will help RC, change the nature of the business.
According to Muñoz, Mexico, Chile and Colombia have a strong demand for cruise vessels, and was one of the first to suffer a full impact in 2020, because of the pandemic.
Las year we took off in the Caribbean in June with 26 vessels, we planned the reintegration of the 26 vessels, and we complied with the plan in May this year
Muñoz said that Latin America was the second best region for RC in the second half of 2021 in matter of sales, but still had to reach the 2019 level.
Nevertheless last April we experienced a peak and we started to see greater activity and by July some Latin American countries had already managed to surpass 2019 sales. He added, Last May we had our largest sales in the history of the company
Because of the strong cruise demand from Colombia the country was included in the world presentation tour of the Icon of the Seas, under construction in the Turku shipyards of Finland. She should be finished at the end of 2023 to begin operations in January 2024, at first along the Caribbean.
The Colombian market has been growing very much for us in recent years in spite of the pandemic, pointed out the RC international vice-president for Latin America.
This has been helped by the fact that air connectivity between Colombia and the US has been the one that has most grown in the region, particularly from cities in the state of Florida
As to the Icon of the Seas, it will have the largest aquatic park in the high seas and will be the first of a new class of ships which will completely change the concept of holidays.
Munoz said she is a ship full of innovations, with eight different environments, to enjoy food, relax, amenities... She will have 2,804 cabins with 28 different designs, a maximum capacity of 7,600 passengers and a crew of 2,500, plus seven pools as well as an option of up to forty restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Furthermore she incorporates new concepts in environment issues and will be the most sustainable of the Royal Caribbean fleet, and the first of cruises powered by Natural Liquid Gas, NLG, the cleanest of all marine fuels.
Having the greenest fleet is not something that can be achieved in a year but it is something Royal Caribbean has been doing for a long time indicated Munoz, pointing out the company has 240 different destination calls in 61 countries.
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