An estimated 17,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to arrive in Old San Juan today, a visit that is expected to pump some $1.5 million into the local economy, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said.
“The arrival of thousands of cruise ship travelers on the same day is excellent news for the tourism industry. It also shows the capacity of our infrastructure, our agencies and our tourist attractions, which are operating to handle a high volume of visitors simultaneously,” he said.
Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director-designate Carla Campos said “this is a strong indication that the cruise lines are confident that as a destination, Puerto Rico has everything it needs to please their passengers and provide an attractive, varied and robust offering.”
Cruise passengers will arrive aboard the Carnival Ecstasy, MSC Seaside, Carnival Magic and Harmony of the Seas. The latter is considered one of the largest in terms of passenger capacity.
These four cruise ships make stops on the island as part of their tours of the Caribbean region.
The time these cruises will spend on the island will allow passengers to “enjoy Old San Juan, its forts, its tourist attractions, its cultural richness and its diverse and delicious cuisine,” government officials said.
They will also be able to participate in excursions beyond the capital city.
Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas and the MSC Seaside will dock at Pier 3 West and Pier 3 East, simultaneously, at 7 a.m. and will depart at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the Carnival Magic and Carnival Ecstasy will dock at Pier 4 West and East, simultaneously. Both will dock at 8 a.m. The Magic will depart at 4 p.m. and the Ecstasy at 5 p.m.
“We have prepared with great care and enthusiasm to showcase the best tourism and to give our visitors an unforgettable stay; one that will compel them to tell their friends and family about the wonderful experience they experienced in our island, but especially that motivates them to return,” said Campos, adding the Tourism Co. will sponsor several cultural events to welcome the four cruise ships to Old San Juan.
Several agencies worked together to prepare the docks for the arrival of the ships and its passengers, including the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, the Public Service Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and Economic Development and Commerce.