Cruise lines increase interest in Caribbean


By: Rachell Cowan Canino/ Special to TTC no. 292

There’s an increasing number of cruise lines operating in the Caribbean. Until the end of the summer, 37 dockings were recorded, a statistic that exceeds the 33 ships that docked in ports in the area the previous year. Arrivals are expected to continue increasing from fall 2024 to spring 2025.

Traditional companies such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Scenic and MSC have been joined by others such as Margaritaville at Sea, Virgin Voyages, Explora Journeys and Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, in addition to Windstar Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Princess Cruises.

According to Travel Weekly, from 2022 to 2023 so far, cruise ship capacity in the Caribbean grew 11.2%; while by the end of the year it is expected to exceed 2019 levels by 6.8%, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) predicted.

Adam Ceserano, president of that organization, pointed out that the Caribbean “is for living experiences throughout the year.” For her part, Katina Athanasiou, senior vice president of sales and services at Celebrity, noted that they have seen greater demand in the Caribbean.

Albino di Lorenzo, senior vice president of port operations and government relations for MSC Cruises of the United States, said many of his clients want the sun, warmth and beauty of the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

On the other hand, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest in the sector, also believes there’s a boom in demand for this type of travel.

The rapid increase in passenger flow in countries such as the United States or China will facilitate the rise of the sector in America and the Caribbean, considers the Technavio consulting firm. Among the key factors driving the growth of the global cruise tourism market, analysts point out: the strong global economic recovery and an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals.