The MV Emerald Princess, a Princess Cruise Line ship, arrived Friday to the port of Limón with 1,714 passengers and 1,058 crew members.
It represents the first passenger-carrying cruise ship to arrive to the Caribbean city since the start of the pandemic.
“The arrival of MV Emerald Princess in the province of Limón brings joy and hope to the hundreds of families who depend on tourist activities and their economic chains, as passengers will visit tourist attractions adjacent to the port city at a key moment for the start of the 2021-2022 cruise season,” said Gustavo Alvarado, Director of Tourism Management of the Tourism Board (ICT).
Princess Cruises advertises Tortuguero, rainforest canopy tours and river rafting among its attractions near Limón.
This ship has a capacity for 3,080 passengers but is operating at 65% capacity to maintain health protocols.
Since September 1, 2021, Costa Rica is welcoming cruise ships in which 100% of the crew have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and at least 95% of passengers of vaccination age have received their shots.
The Tourism Board has said nine cruise lines have incorporated Costa Rica into their 2021-22 cruise season itineraries: Windstar, Lindblad, Sea Cloud, Seabourn Quest, Celebrity Millennium, Carnival Pride, Crown Princess, Diamond Princess and Seven Seas Mariner.
Five of those cruise lines would arrive in Limón, and the rest to Pacific ports.
During the 2019-2020 season, nearly 240,000 cruise passengers arrived in Costa Rica on 197 ships, according to ICT data. Each of those visitors spent about $135 per day when in Costa Rica.
The 2020-21 season was canceled due to the pandemic, though some mostly empty ships made stops in Costa Rica to disembark crew.