Spanish cruise lines are expected to increase their presence in the Caribbean for the 2009 calendar year, Cruise Industry News forecasts. Pullmantur, which sailed with two ships in 2008 – the Empress and the Holiday Dream – will likely deploy more capacity. The line is slated to have two vessels in the region once again, but, the Dream, which has since been transferred to CDF, is expected to be replaced with one of the Pullmantur’s larger ships, and the Empress is projected to do more sailings – potentially doubling the line’s Caribbean capacity to 60,000 passengers.

In addition, newcomer Vision Cruises will be deploying the 800-passenger Vision Star (ex-Superstar Gemini) on 38 weeklong sailings from Havana in 2009 – for a total of more than 30,000 passengers. Thirty-eight cruises will be offered by the line between March and December 2009, calling at Progreso, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Isla de la Juventud (Cuba).

Iberocruceros, which accounted for more than 11,000 passengers in the Caribbean this year, and sailed with the 836-passenger Grand Voyager, did not have any 2009 information available at press time.