Norwegian Cruise Line is considering a 2019-2020 cruise program in Brazil, according to Estela Farina, country director.
Speaking to Cruise Industry News, she explained that the market still has problems, but the future looks appelaing with changes promised by local authorities.
“The cruise lines need new destinations and Brazil has everything to became an important one, not only locally but also internationally,” she said.
The Brazilian government is working on measures to improve the country’s port infrastructure and reduce the operational costs, which could drive a decision, according to Farina.
After a seasonal program in Brazil last year, Norwegian will not be back for now, but is eyeing 2019-2020, according to Farina.
“We already have plans finalized for the next year (which do not include Brazil), but nothing prevents us from considering that for following season (2019-2020),” she said, noting that the local government need to do its share.
The Norwegian Sun was deployed in Brazil for the 2016-2017 season, sailing from Rio and Santos, sourcing Brazilian passengers.
“The main issue is the viability of the operation, including in a financial term. That’s why we are not repeating it now,” she noted.
She added that the cruise line is repeating its Patagonian itineraries aboard the Norwegian Sun, which are popular for the Brazilian market.
Estela also oversees the national operations for Regent Seven Seas and Oceania.
“Those brands are growing a lot. Each cruise line operates in a different segment, but both are doing very well,” Estela said.
“There’s also lot of potential for future growth,” she added, pointing out that the Brazilian cruise passengers are starting to understand better the market niches and are looking for more exclusive options.