San Juan Receives Record Number of Cruise Passengers
SAN JUAN—A record number of cruise passengers arrived in San Juan Wednesday with about 24,117 people, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) announced, smashing the previous record of about 17,847 cruise passengers in February 25 of last year.
Passengers arrived at the docks of Old San Juan on board six cruise ships: the Carnival Glory, Carnival Magic, Anthem of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Norwegian Breakaway and the Balmoral.
“It fills us with joy to see the constant increase in the number of cruise passengers arriving at the island, which means a significant boost to tourism and the [local] economy,” said Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, executive director of PRTC. “The arrival [of so many people] represents an economic impact of more than $ 2.2 million dollars to the [local] economy.”
The previous day (Tuesday) also boasted high cruiseship activity, with the arrival of seven cruises, for an economic impact of approximately $ 1.2 million dollars, Rivera Rocafort added. The seven cruises that arrived on Tuesday were Silver Wind, Club Med 2, Celebrity Silhouette; Crystal Serenity, Oosterdam, Eurodam and Freedom of the Seas.
Meanwhile, Ingrid Colberg Rodríguez, executive director of the Ports Authority, said the government’s $10.5 million investment in the expansion of Pier 3 in San Juan was an important driver in the recent influx of cruise activity. “This expansion enabled the arrival of [all] three cruise ships of the Royal Caribbean’s new Oasis class, the largest in the world.
“In addition, on 99 separate occasions, Royal Caribbean landed cruises that without this extension [to the pier] would not have had room in the port of San Juan; This represented an economic impact of $54 million for the [island] in less than two years,” Colberg Rodríguez noted.
“Also, our $2.5 million investment in the Pan American Pier allowed the homeport [stays of] Disney Cruise and the Norwegian Gem, after almost a decade of absence in the port of San Juan. The restoration of the confidence of the cruise industry has been key in the process of stabilizing the finances of the [Ports] Authority and for the economic development of Puerto Rico,” she added.