DR plans to receive 3 million cruise passengers in 2024

With the expansion of port infrastructures for the reception of cruise ships, authorities estimate that the arrival of cruise passengers in the Dominican Republic will exceed 3 million by 2024.

The executive director of the Dominican Port Authority (Apordom), Jean Luis Rodríguez, indicated that this is an achievable goal, after the country attracted 2.3 million visitors by sea in 2023.

In the framework of the launch of a mobile application of the Apordom, Rodriguez indicated that, with the habilitation of Samana Bayport, Arroyo Barril and the cruise port of Barahona which are expected to be ready by 2026, the logistical capacity for the reception of more excursionists would be increased.

“The goal is that by the year 2028 -and this is a goal we are setting for ourselves- five to six million cruise passengers will arrive in the Dominican Republic via cruise ships,” he assured.

Regarding the arrival of shipping companies to the new Cabo Rojo Port, built in Pedernales, Rodríguez indicated that the Apordom continues to work on the promotion of this terminal to close agreements with cruise companies that include this destination in their routes.

The official estimates that in October of this year, according to Diario Libre, the frequency of tourist ships which dock in the port will be normalized and will start to arrive monthly.

In fact, he indicated that recently the Dominican airport authorities met with companies, such as Disney Cruise Land and Royal Caribbean, in Jamaica, where they talked about this emerging destination.

“We recently signed an agreement with the port authority of Jamaica, we held several meetings there with the different cruise lines, predicting that already, with the entry of these new ports, the shipping companies have knowledge and can begin to enter ships to the Dominican Republic,” he said.

He emphasized that “we do not yet have the itineraries and calendars, but we do know that by October there are some cruise lines that have confirmed that they will come to Cabo Rojo”.

Arrival of cruise passengers will take time

He explained that it is normal in the cruise industry for a new port to take time to reach a significant ship frequency.

“If we remember Taino Bay in its first year of operations (2021), it received around 300,000 cruisers, and already in the following year it received 800,000. We are forecasting to exceed one million cruise passengers now this year, so it is normal. Cruise schedules are organized up to three years in advance,” he said.

Apordom’s projection is that up to 500,000 cruise passengers will arrive in Cabo Rojo by 2028, a projection that would reduce by half the one million cruise passengers estimated for that year on the day of the port’s inauguration.


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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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