At the 18th Annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Conference, ahead of a predicted record-breaking season for the Caribbean, some questions loomed over traffic in the Southern Caribbean.
As one high-ranking government source put it to Cruise Industry News, “we are about to suffer … we can’t just give up.”
The Southern Caribbean islands have reportedly come together, signing what the source said was a “letter of intent” among each other and a few Central and South American destinations to develop and push a so-called Southern Caribbean itinerary.
A few cruise lines are already interested, but the official pointed out that they were not “major operators.”
However, currently, Pullmantur Cruises runs a Southern Caribbean-style itinerary on the Ocean Dream that visits Cartagena and Santa Marta (Columbia), in addition to Aruba, Curacao and La Guaira, in Venezuela.
In a perfect situation, all stops on the itinerary would feature partial turn-arounds, utilizing whatever airlift select destinations have. That would lend itself well to niche and European cruise lines, who often use charter flights from Europe to shuttle passengers to the Caribbean. Pullmantur, for example, owns a fleet of long-haul aircraft.