Thursday, June 20, 2019

Puerto Rico seeks to capitalize on Cuba cruise restrictions

By on June 5, 2019

The San Juan Cruise Port Terminal (Screen capture of www.sheratonoldsanjuan.com)

Ports director: Royal Caribbean to dock at least once more a month

SAN JUAN — Amid restrictions issued by the U.S. government that limit the access of U.S. travelers to Cuba, Puerto Rico is preparing for an increase in cruise traffic on the island, Ports Authority Director Anthony Maceira Zayas assured Wednesday.

“Puerto Rico is the connector of the Americas and we will continue to capitalize on our strategic position to increase cruise traffic on the Island. Upon announcement of the restrictions imposed by the United States government on Cuba, we immediately let the [cruise] lines know that our ports are available and, yesterday, we approved a request from Royal Caribbean International to dock at least one more time a month with its vessel Empress of The Seas. During the day, we will be attending, together with the [Puerto Rico]Tourism Company, the possibilities we have to offer Puerto Rico as the best alternative for their stops,” he said in a statement.

The official pointed out that cruiseships that leave the island do not make stops in the neighboring country but that travelers who purchased their travel packages before the June 5 restrictions should not have problems.

“The ban on the entry of U.S. cruises to Cuba creates an incredible opportunity to attract those passengers to the Island. We estimate that over 140,000 Americans arrived in Cuba on cruises, which could translate into a considerable increase for tourism on the Island,” the executive director of the Tourism Co., Carla Campos, added in the release.