Brazil will finally allow cruise ships back into its waters starting in November, after months of failed negotiations.
“We’ll have cruises this year: the cruise season is authorized,” said Brazil’s Minister of Tourism on a social media platform.
The news should please major operators who complained that Brazil’s ban was hurting their business by creating a negative impact not only on the industry but also on cruise-ship jobs.
The Minister went on to say the government was committed to reactive the cruise ship industry as it “creates 42,000 direct and indirect jobs in Brazil.”
According to the government, 130 cruises and 570 cruise calls are set to resume sailing between November 2021 and April 2022.
“The cruise sector is essential for the development of the nautical tourism in our country … we congratulate our partners for this victory,” said Carlos Brito, Executive Director of the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur).
Costa Cruises plans to bring two ships to Brazil, including Costa Smeralda, the world’s largest cruise ship ever seen in the region. It will provide a week-long itinerary to some 5,200 passengers from December through April.
The Costa Fascinosa will also be returning. The vessel will depart from Rio de Janeiro and Itaja with ports of calls in Argentina and Uruguay.
MSC Cruises will offer cruises from Santos to Salvador, Maceió, and other international destinations such as Argentina and Uruguay.
The MSC also has itineraries from Itajaí and Rio de Janeiro.
International cruise ships docking in Brazil
Multi-country itineraries in South America are also set to return.
Norwegian Cruise Line is among the operators that did not cancel the plans for South American destinations. The cruise company is offering vessels to Patagonia, Brazil, and Antarctica.
The government currently works with local authorities in homeports and ports of call, in order to create an operational plan including the mandatory health guidelines.
The first protocol drafts show vessels will need to operate at reduced capacity, request passengers to test negative for Covid-19 prior to boarding as well as demanding mandatory vaccination for crew members.