After 20 years as a stopover on cruise routes, in September the Caribbean port of Limón became a boarding port for cruise ship passengers. And in the first few months of the season, the port attracted nearly 60 cruise ships, the Atlantic Port Authority’s (JAPDEVA) reported this week.
Each ship carried an average of 2,076 passengers. The cruise ship season in the Caribbean usually runs through May.
For the first departing cruise of the season, in September, a total of 1,189 tourists — 95 percent of them Ticos — boarded the Monarch. Previously, local tourists had to fly to ports in Panama, Mexico or Florida to board cruise ships.
JAPDEVA officials say the tally of visitors is likely to increase substantially over the holidays and into the first few weeks of January.
The Limón port’s new status as a boarding port promises new jobs for the Caribbean province, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.