CVC, the largest tour operator in Latin America, is expected to generate 170,000 cruise passengers this year, up from 115,000 in 2007, said João Fernando Vassão, executive marketing and corporate communications director. And in 2009, that number is expected to go up, he added.

“Cruising is seen as a novelty for Brazilians, and one of our goals is to grow not only Brazil, but all of Latin America,” Vassão said.

Brazil-based CVC is chartering six ships in 2009, including four from Pullmantur, and two from Iberocruceros, and sails on the Brazilian coast during the winter months.