Out of the local market since early 2020, Royal Caribbean Group still sees potential in Brazil as a cruise destination.
“We’ll have several calls in the country, which means the business is still growing for us,” said André Pousada, Associate Vice-President of Government Relations for Latin America & Caribbean of the Royal Caribbean Group.
While the Royal Caribbean International brand hasn’t been sailing in the region for several years, the group’s premium and luxury cruise lines continue to offer South American itineraries that feature calls in the country, with calls planned from the Silver Moon, Silver Wind, Silver Cloud as well as the Celebrity Infinity.
“Silversea, for instance, has 94 confirmed visits to 30 Brazilian ports in the two next years,” Pousada said, adding that Celebrity Cruises is also set to call at the country’s destinations.
Speaking at the recent CLIA Brazil Forum, Pousada revealed that infrastructure and cost are still relevant factors for the local cruise sector to grow ever further.
“The key word is competitivity. The destinations compete internationally to see which one is more attractive for the development of the cruise business,” he explained, noting that Brazil still has operational challenges to face.
Pousada highlighted, however, the country’s effort in addressing the issues.
“There’s commitment from all sides. While there may be asymmetric interests, I think the final goal is always the same: everyone wants the development of the sector.”
In recent years, Royal Caribbean Group had been offering a seasonal program of short cruises in the country with its partly owned Pullmantur brand.
Conducted in partnership with CVC, a Brazilian tour operator, the operation was terminated when Pullmantur filed for insolvency in mid-2020.
Before leaving the market in 2016, Royal Caribbean International had a decades-long presence in Brazil.
Serving the local market, the local operation peaked in the 2010-2011 season, when three Royal Caribbean vessels – including the 3,100-guest Mariner of the Seas – offered domestic itineraries in the country.