San Juan Pier to be revamped for Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas
SAN JUAN – Improvements are coming for San Juan’s Pan American Pier II, in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises, La Fortaleza announced Friday. The economic impact is expected to be substantial and the increase to Ports Authority revenue is projected at $2.8 million.
“Puerto Rico has all the qualities for the development of maritime tourism. With the infrastructure improvements, the support of the private sector and an efficient promotion, we will continue to expand the island’s point-of-entry offering and diversify the visitor economy’s growth opportunities,” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said in a release Friday.
Ports Director Omar Marrero said that as of May 12, 2018, the cruiseship Freedom of the Seas will offer a seven-day trip through the Eastern Caribbean, leaving Panamerican Pier II, which will become its homeport. To do so, the cruise company will invest in improvements in that port facility’s infrastructure.
Marrero added the port’s news is encouraging because it represents an increased economic impact with the addition of some 1,200 passengers a week.
Freedom of the Seas is the largest cruiseship that has made Puerto Rico its homeport. It was the first cruise ship to offer the FlowRider surf simulator, rock climbing, a skating rink and have more than 10 restaurant chains on board.
For fiscal year 2016, Royal Caribbean brought 574,140 passengers. By 2018, that number is expected to balloon to about 700,000 passengers.
A reconfiguration of security checkpoints, adding passenger registration desks, expanding the baggage inspection area, bathroom improvements and dredging of the dock are among some of the agreements between Royal Caribbean and the Ports Authority.