Costa Rica's Purto Caldera has become a new sailing port for Cunard's Cunard Princess, which will be sailing 16 one-week cruises between Costa Rica and Port Everglades, from December 1987 through December 1988.

According to Ralph Bahna, President of Cunard, 85 percent of its passengers on transcanal sailings rated Puerto Caldera as the best stop on the cruise. "If we are successful in the first year, we will expand the program the following year," Bahna said. By operating from Puerto Caldera, Cunard can offer Panama Canal transit and four ports in seven days. Three- and four-day hotel options will also be offered.

The port is roughly one hour and ten minutes from the capital, San Jose, and the airport. The Costa Rican airline, Lacsa, and Eastern, have reportedly added extra flights between Miami and San Jose.

Cinde, the Costa Rican development agency, which has traditionally focused on industrial development, is now also focusing on tourism, which it regards as a potentially very important source of revenue for the country. Cinde believes that Cunard's move will bring more tourism and will make it more interesting for potential investments in hotels and resorts.