French shipyard STX has secured an order for up to four more ships from MSC Cruises, in a 3.6 billion-Euro (US$4.1 billion) deal announced on Wednesday. MSC Cruises, part of privately owned shipping group MSC, has in recent years been the main customer for STX France, which is based at the Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire.
The high operational costs in the ports of the region is having a negative impact for the cruise industry and some of the companies have already withdrawn vessels from the South Atlantic routes, warned Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC and Royal Caribbean during a regional conference on the industry sponsored by Uruguay's Ministry of Tourism.
The number of cruise-vessel calls in Uruguayan ports has increased 9.3% so far in this 2012/13 season with an influx of 20 million dollars for the local economy revealed Deputy minister of Tourism Antonio Carambula during a primary evaluation of business vis-à-vis the 2011/12 results.
After growing 20% annually over the past ten years and reaching a level of 800,000 tourists annually, the pace of cruise expansion in Brazil is expected to encounter a sharp slowdown in the 2011-2012 season.
For the first time ever South America will be hosting the cruise industry major event, the Seatrade Cruise Convention organized by the Seatrade Group and Abremar, the Brazilian Association of maritime cruises. The event is scheduled for May 30 and 31 in Sao Paulo and CEO from some of the leading cruise companies have already confirmed their attendance.