The Port of Santos is hoping to bounce back as the main homeport in Brazil. It posted 471,702 cruise passengers last season, far from a peak of 1,220,830 guests in the 2010-2011 cruise season.
Traffic for 2016-2017 was also off 36 percent year-over-year following a decline in the South American cruise market. Port officials expect a possible further reduction this season.
“We know that less ships are coming, but we are working on planning the next season as best as we can," said Clevelend Lofrano, director of market relations at the CompanhiaDocas do Estado de São Paulo (CODESP), the authority that manages the port.
“We are meeting with Concais (the cruise terminal administrator), the Navy (whose cay is also used by cruise ships) and all other involved parties. We want to improve our services even further. And we believe that we’ll be able to meet all the demand for the next season," he added.
The 2017-2018 season is expecting to come in at 87 calls, with 11 ships in the region, and one two-call day expected. By comparison, the port had nine cruise ships in a single day in 2008. Local regulations now call for a maximum limit of six ships at once, which also helps keep cargo operations flowing smoothly and ensuring an optimal experience for cruise passengers.
“We are making efforts to make sure that the port of Santos is able to attend well all the areas it serves, including the cruise business," Lofrano added.