By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last week the president of the Brazilian Association of Sea Cruisers (Clia Brazil), Marco Ferraz reported that the 2018/2019 season of maritime cruises will have an impact of over R$2 billion on the Brazilian economy, and a fifteen percent increase in the total number of passengers compared to the previous season.

Cruise season begins in Rio and ocean liners dock at Pier Mauá, in the city's port zone, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Cruise season begins in Rio and ocean liners dock at Pier Mauá, in the city’s port zone, photo by Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil.

In the 2017/2018 season, more than R$1.792 billion was injected into the economy, a result 11.5 percent higher than the 2016/2017 period, showing healthy growth, according to Agencia Brasil.

This season there are seven vessels that follow the coast of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, the same number as last season. Marco Ferraz stressed, however, that ships will stay longer on the Brazilian coast. “The strategy of getting more in the season, and with more routes, ended up being the same as if we had one more ship,” Ferraz said.

The first transatlantic cruise ship is scheduled to arrive at the port of Rio de Janeiro on November 19th, and the last will depart on April 14, 2019. They will be carrying 470,000 travelers, verses 418,000 the previous season. The average number of passengers per ship is 60,000.

According to a survey by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) for Clia Brasil, the impact of each passenger in the city where it visits is R$520. For this reason, Ferraz said that if the city of Armação dos Búzios, in the Region of Lagos (RJ), receives 100,000 passengers, the city will have R$52 million impact due to cruise ships.

The ports of Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador are the starting points, with routes that go to Buenos Aires. In all, including Punta del Leste and Montevideo, Uruguay, there are eighteen cities visited between the three countries.

As Santos is the main port of origin in Brazil, there are 87 stopovers in this city. Among the most visited cities, Marco Ferraz cited Rio de Janeiro, with 81 stops; Armação dos Búzios (RJ), with 55 stops; Ilhabela (SP) with 44; Salvador with 37; Ilha Grande (RJ) with thirty stops; and Balneário Camboriú (SC) with 29.

The average ticket of the previous season of cruise ships was approximately of R$2,200, for an average stay of 6.7 days. This amount per trip and per person includes food, lodging, transportation and entertainment.

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