Cruise Ship tourism has recovered with 61% compared to the first 6 months of 2019 APA expects to see a good recovery for the remainder of this year

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The moment the coronavirus pandemic knocked on our doors, like any other country, Aruba had to cancel many Cruise Ship’s arrivals to the Island. However little by little we have started to welcome these ships back and had to make certain adjustments in other to receive them again. After the first 2 turbulent months of 2022, we can see that a positive recovery started to take place.

In the months of January and February, Aruba Ports Authority N.V (APA) saw approximately 17 cancelations and this had an impact in our recovery. This took place right when the recovery was at a good pace and the wave of the Omicron variant had knocked on the doors. At the end of February, this recovery started to take off once again and the occupation of Cruise Ships recovered drastically.

For the first 6 months of 2022, APA welcomed 263,472 cruise ship passengers, which brought a recovery of 61% compared to the same first 6 months of 2019. APA welcomed 162 cruise ships, which is 5 less than the same period in 2019. This means we are receiving cruise ships however the recovery is still underway, for which the months of May and June were the best occupation since the pandemic.

June 2022 was the best month since the pandemic, where Aruba received 6.3% more cruise passengers compared to June in 2019. In the month of May, for the first time, Aruba welcomed Royal Caribbean, which ever since its first arrival has been visiting the Island every 2 weeks with almost 6000 passengers on board in the latest visit.

The APA team along with its partners worked very hard to be able to bring this mega cruise ship. It takes intense negotiations for months before the arrival of such ships. Not only for the promotion of the cruise ship, but also for the changes in infrastructure that Aruba Ports Authority N.V needs to make in order to accommodate this mega cruise ship at our port.

For the rest of the 2022 year, it’s expected that there will be a recovery of about 65% assuming there will be no more global or regional events that have a negative impact on the Island. Currently we are in the hurricane season, which traditionally lowers the amount of cruise ships, however with the arrival of yet another mega cruise ship, a good push to the recovery is expected with a good amount of passengers and the spin-off effect that can be felt in the economy.

In the aspect of shipments, which mainly arrive at the port in Barcadera, a recovery in container (TUEs) YTD of approximately 90% could be seen. This means that there will probably be a positive recovery in our tourism, which translates to the hotels in high capacity, which becomes fuel for the growth of our economy. Because the Island imports most products, the increase in the amount of containers and shipments that come to Aruba weekly can be seen and felt immediately, mainly from the United States, but from other parts of the world as well.