Cartagena is preparing itself to receive cruise ships after the authorities performed a recent technical inspection. If the Colombian Health Ministry approves the safety protocols for management and risk control of coronavirus in activities related to their arrival, staying and departure of ships with passengers, the city can begin to receive visitors by Aug. 24.
Diana Martínez, the Ministry's advisor for economic reactivation, explained that the city is a pioneer in the development of bio-safety protocols for cruise ships arrivals.
"Cartagena is the main destination port in terms of cruise ships in the country, therefore, we have done an articulated work in the elaboration of a bio-security protocol to guarantee the safety of the operation and of this industry," she said.
Cruises bring about $66 million to the city's economy each year.
In addition, more than 747 direct jobs and more than 1,886 indirect jobs are generated, such as guides, travel agencies, vendors, tourist transport companies, taxi drivers and many other actors.
The World of Cruises
While the protocols to enable the docking of cruise ships begin in Cartagena, the government of Italy has prohibited their passage through Venice, due to the pollution they generate in the canal.
The first cruise ship to dock in Puerto Rico since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras, arrived in San Juan on Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The cruise ship carried 4,300 passengers and was estimated to generate $ 360,000 for the area just nine hours after docking.
In Florida, the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings company can request a vaccination certificate against COVID-19 to all passengers and employees who board their ships, even when they are doing so at a port in the state.
On the other hand, in Mexico, the Port Administration of Quintana Roo (Apiqroo) reported that seven cruise ships will arrive to the Island of Cozumel during the third week of August, exceeding a previous post-COVID record of five that arrived in the last week of July.
Argentina also announced last Friday that it plans to restart tourism for travelers in the region with a full vaccination plan in the second stage of its de-escalation protocol, starting in September.
Uruguayan authorities announced that they have everything ready to start the cruise season, and enable the entry to all foreigners vaccinated on Nov. 1.
Similarly, Costa Rica reported that from Sept. 1, it will reactivate cruise tourism for the 2021-22 season and hopefully stimulate tourism and employment in coastal areas.