Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is ramping up its commitment to growing the South America cruise market with the official opening of a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the first Royal Caribbean company-owned office in the region.
The event is marked today by a formal visit by Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, Adam Goldstein, highlighting Brazil as a key region earmarked for both investment and growth.
“The cruise market in Brazil is one of the fastest growing in the world, and with increased investment and commitment, we aim to accelerate this trend” said Goldstein. “In late 2009 Royal Caribbean International will have two ships – Vision of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas – dedicated to the Brazilian market which represents a significant uplift in available cruise departures. Reinforcing the positive knock-on economic benefits that cruising brings and improving cruise selling awareness are key objectives of my visit to Brazil. I look forward to Royal Caribbean International’s expansion in Brazil and in the entire South America cruise market.”
The new Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. office, located in Sao Paulo, will support the commercial and operational efforts in Brazil of the company’s three cruise brands - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises - and will continue to further its international expansion plans, supporting the growing demand for cruise itineraries departing Brazil and around the world.
The opening of Royal Caribbean’s Sao Paulo office comes at a key time for the burgeoning Brazilian cruise business. In the last eight seasons, the number of guests embarking on cruises from Brazil grew 623%, with an average growth of 33% per year.
In addition to marking the official opening of the Brazil offices, Goldstein is also meeting cruise industry representatives from ABREMAR, the Brazilian association of cruise lines, and local authorities from the Ministry of Tourism, the Port Authority and the Commission of Tourism and Sports of the Federal Chamber.
Working alongside ABREMAR, Goldstein will be highlighting key benefits of the growing cruise industry to Brazil including international visitor attraction and increased revenue opportunities for related services such as hotels and land tours.
Plus, the official visit also will see Goldstein convey best practice examples from ports of call around the world that have improved port and destination infrastructure and services to attract growing cruise guest numbers.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. holds a leading role in ABREMAR, since the company’s Brazil managing director, Ricardo Amaral, was appointed as the new President earlier this year.
“Leading ABREMAR and growing the cruise industry in Brazil complements my role with Royal Caribbean” said Amaral. “ABREMAR estimates that during 2008 to 2009, the cruise industry in Brazil was responsible for generating almost 40,000 jobs and almost US$340 million in related expenditure. The cruise market in Brazil has a huge growth potential. There is a lot still to be done and many challenges to face, but it is our first goal for the main cruise lines and related services to work successfully together in order to stimulate the expansion of the market.”
When Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. appointed cruise veteran, Amaral as managing director for Brazil in January 2009, it was the company’s first such appointment in the South America region. The cruise market in Brazil has grown from 70,000 cruisers in 2001 to over half a million guests in 2008.
New for the 2009-2010 season, Royal Caribbean International will offer 21 departures of three and four-night cruises from the port of Santos with the 2,000-guest Vision of the Seas and 1,804 guest Splendour of the Seas. Also available are five, six, seven and eight-night cruises onboard Vision of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas from December 2009 including cruises dedicated to Christmas and New Year celebrations, for a total of another 21 sailings.