After more than a year, cruise ships are set to return to Brazil on October 31.
With a total of seven ships expected in the local market the 2021-2022 season will feature two cruise lines: Costa and MSC.
But with the biggest ships yet to sail in Brazil, it could be a blockbuster season, if it goes ahead.
The operation, however, still depends on approval from the Brazilian government.
While meetings are being carried out with local authorities, cruise sector representants and ports, a final decision remains pending according to local sources.
After changing plans for the local season, Costa Cruises is now poised to bring two ships to Brazil, including the 2019-built Costa Smeralda.
It is set to become the largest cruise ship ever to sail in the region. Based in Santos, the 5,200-guest Smeralda is scheduled to offer a week-long itinerary to Salvador and Ilhéus between December and April.
The Costa Fascinosa is also returning for another season in the region. Sailing from Rio de Janeiro and Itajaí, the vessel is offering a different itinerary, which also includes calls in Argentina and Uruguay.
MSC Cruises is planning a five-ship season in Brazil. For the first time in the region, the MSC Seaside will be one of the highlights of the program, offering cruises from Santos to Salvador, Maceió and other destinations.
The MSC Splendida will also be based in Santos, sailing a series of Argentina and Uruguay itineraries. The MSC Sinfonia and the MSC Preziosa will complete the Brazilian domestic lineup, with sailing a variety of cruises from from Itajaí and Rio de Janeiro, respectively.
A fifth ship, the MSC Orchestra, will be based in Buenos Aires, offering itineraries to Brazil from its Argentinean homeport.
The longer, multi-country itineraries in South America are also set to make a return in 2021-2022. While some cruise lines – including Celebrity and Princess – cancelled programs in the region, others are still planning international sailings through Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and other countries.
Norwegian Cruise Line is among the operators with plans for the destination. With the Norwegian Star, the brand is offering several cruises to Patagonia, Brazil and even Antarctica.
Viking is also betting on South America, with a complete program in the region still in the plans for the 2019-built Viking Jupiter.