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Destination, cruise industries help Puerto Rico rebound after hurricanes 

By on February 2, 2018

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC) and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) announced Friday the “incredible strides” the cruise industry has made in Puerto Rico.

As a trade association representing the “mutual interests of destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America and its member lines operating nearly 200 vessels in its partner destinations,” the FCCA said it built a cooperative relationship to enhance the experience for cruisers visiting Puerto Rico, “which was on full display during the destination’s comeback after the tragedies of hurricanes Irma and Maria.”

San Juan Harbor resumed homeport operations just two and a half weeks after Hurricane Maria with the sailing of Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas on Oct. 7. Since then, more than 160,000 homeport passengers have embarked from San Juan. Additionally, over 250,000 cruise passengers have visited San Juan on transit calls since Maria.

Tourism Co. announces achievements, projections for Puerto Rico after María

Close to 60 cruise shore excursions are fully operational. These were “instrumental in San Juan’s ability to renew transit calls in November, proving once again the importance of Puerto Rico as a leading cruising hub in the Caribbean,” the FCCA said in a release.

“Puerto Rico has made a momentous rebound because of the collaboration between the FCCA, our Member Lines, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and other government entities,” FCCA President Michele Paige added. “From relief and repair to multifaceted media initiatives, all parties have worked tirelessly together to bring back tourism sooner than expected and, more importantly, assist the destination and its people in a time of need—serving as a true testament of our partnership and a model for future recovery efforts.”

Puerto Rico’s 2017-2018 cruise season will also welcome of Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas for weekly year-round sailings when it replaces Adventure of the Seas on May 12. With capacity of more than 4,500 passengers, Freedom of the Seas can accommodate 700 more passengers than Adventure of the Seas and will become the largest cruise ship to homeport in San Juan—”a big reason why current cruise traffic for the 2018-2019 season in San Juan is projected to be a record-breaking 1.7 million passengers, with an economic impact of approximately $250 million,” the Tourism Co. and FCCA’s joint release adds.

“We have been in direct communication with our FCCA partners since day one, who have shown great commitment to Puerto Rico and proven the industry’s resiliency,” said Carla Campos, acting executive director of the PRTC. “Our cruise industry partners became strong allies in the implementation of our Destination Recovery Plan, a comprehensive strategy designed to secure a promising comeback for Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico will host the annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show on Nov. 5-9. It will be the first of four consecutive years that the island will host what the FCCA calls “the association’s keynote event and the largest cruise conference and trade show in the region.”


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