What makes Colombia a great destination for cruise lines

Colombia is showing significant advances in the cruise industry at a global scale. Over the course of 15 years around 35 of the most prestigious cruise lines have reached Colombian coasts, and the number keeps growing.

The country has competitive advantages for the cruise lines, which include coasts in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, a wide range of exotic beaches, and a strategic location outside of the hurricane area which allows for an uninterrupted operation throughout all the year.

Besides the must-see cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia has other destinations on the Caribbean such as San Andrés island, a sun and beach paradise that has been selected by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards as one of the top 5 islands in the Americas.

On the other hand, The Pacific coast is a great option for nature and adventure tourism offering activities like diving, trekking or whale and bird watching.

“Since 2006 there has been a significant growth in the number of cruise ships coming to Colombia. Dockings increased from 53 in 2006 to 231 in 2018, an increase of 335% in ship arrivals and 646% in passenger arrivals going from 50,946 to 380,000,” according to Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of promoting non-mining-energy exports, foreign direct investment and tourism.

The improved interest of cruise lines in Colombia is demonstrated by the wide range of companies that visit the country such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises or TUI Cruises and more recently the arrival of lines specializing in luxury and exploration.

Colombia is also a powerhouse for procurement. The country supplies cruise lines with textiles, agrobusiness products such as coffee, and has the potential to grow sustainably in this business.

According to José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia: “We work to increase the arrival of international cruise passengers to Colombia. The country has opportunities to strengthen this industry in the Caribbean region through the promotion of its touristic offer and the attraction of foreign investment in this sector.”

Colombia’s tourism offer will be showcased at FCCA Conference that will be held from the 21th to the 25th of October in Puerto Rico. ProColombia will participate with Colombian companies specialized in the cruise industry.