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Brazil Minister of Tourism: Cruise season will be a success

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – During a press conference, the Minister discussed the 2021/2022 Cruise Season, which started yesterday.

Alongside the Brazilian Cruise Liner Association (CLIA) chairman Marco Ferraz, MSC CEO Adrian Ursilli and Costa Cruises CEO Dario Rustico, Machado Neto highlighted the full potential of the segment in Brazil.

The 2021/2022 Brazilian cruise season started on Friday, November 5. (photo internet reproduction)

“This season will be a success due to pent-up demand. The cruise industry is a reality, there is no turning back. We have an opportunity at hand, which is Brazil in the post-pandemic,” he stated.

Machado Neto also offered a suggestion to cruise companies. “Why not run a year-round cruise season? Brazil offers many opportunities. And whatever it takes for the government to make it happen, you have a partner here. Believe in Brazil, you won’t regret it,” he said.

CLIA chairman Marco Ferraz pointed out that with the start of the new season, Brazil has joined the 50 countries with cruise ships operating in the world. “We will be present in 7 states and 14 cities this season with 5 ships and 388,000 beds, which had to be reduced due to health protocols. This will generate 24,000 jobs in Brazil and R$1.7 billion (US$307 million) for our economy. And we expect to resume pre-pandemic levels as of 2023,” Ferraz stated.

MSC CEO Adrian Ursilli expressed gratitude for the federal government and Minister Gilson’s efforts to approve the resumption of cruises this year.

“We have much to thank the Minister who fought tooth and nail to ensure approval of cruise ships, obviously as well as the federal government and other competent authorities. Minister Gilson’s presence and commitment were crucial and we will be eternally grateful because we will be able to resume doing what we love. More than sailing, generating employment and a meaning for the workers who had been grounded,” Ursilli said.

On the protocols to be followed during the new season, the MSC CEO said that the segment is prepared to welcome tourists. “We have the world’s most solid protocols in place. We are very confident that it will be a safe, peaceful and responsible recovery season, while preserving the tourist experience, offering fun, leisure, moments of relaxation and tourist discoveries.”

Costa Cruises CEO Dario Rustico confirmed the Costa Fascinosa and Costa Esmeralda ships arrival for November 29 and December 20, respectively. The Italian entrepreneur also announced three of the company’s ships for the 2022/2023 season, including the newcomer Costa Toscana, which is committed to sustainability. “The Costa Group is committed to Brazil and this is a starting rather than the end point because Brazil offers many opportunities,” Rustico said.

Costa Cruzeiros CEO also thanked Minister Gilson Machado Neto for his support for the return of the segment to Brazil. “I had the opportunity to work in several countries worldwide and rarely have I seen a Minister this committed and with this eagerness to help the sector and this close and available to negotiate,” he stated.

The Minister acknowledged the thanks, but stressed that he was not ultimately responsible for the return of the cruise ships. “The one responsible for these 24,000 jobs and these R$1.7 billion is President Jair Bolsonaro.”

The 2021/2022 Brazilian cruise season started on Friday, November 5, with the sailing of the MSC Preziosa, docked at the Port of Santos (São Paulo) and scheduled to depart at 8 PM with 3,000 passengers on board.

In total, there will be 107 itineraries during the season and 392 stops in domestic destinations, such as Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Salvador, Angra dos Reis, Balneario Camboriú, Búzios, Cabo Frio, Fortaleza, Ilha Grande, Ilhabela, Ilhéus, Itajaí. Maceió, Porto Belo and Ubatuba.


Among the main measures established by the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) for the 2021/2022 season are a maximum occupancy of 75%; a distance of at least 1.5 meters between groups of passengers; vaccinated crew and passengers, provided they are eligible for the National Immunization Program (PNI); mandatory mask use on board and in passenger terminals; daily Covid-19 testing of at least 10% of the crew and 10% of passengers.

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