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The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, announced that between November and January, 622 ships with 1.5 million seats are expected to arrive in the archipelago.
"Between November and January, it is expected that 622 cruise ships will arrive in the archipelago, which translates into approximately 1.5 million seats, that is, a growth of more than 15% compared to the winter of the pre-Covid period," said the counselor.
However, Castilla recalled that, despite the greater number of stopovers, the number of cruise passengers will not exceed the 2019-2020 season because, although the ships can operate with 75% capacity, so far they are not exceeding 50% capacity "because one of the requirements is to have the complete vaccination scheme and there are tourists who still haven't had the vaccine”, assured the counselor.
The counselor stressed during her speech that cruise tourism has been greatly affected by the restrictions imposed around the world since the outbreak of the pandemic. According to data from the CLIA (International Cruise Lines Association), in 2020 32 million passengers were expected to go on cruises, and the final real number of passengers was actually below 6 million.
However, the forecast for 2021 is that before the end of the year around 75-80% of operations will have recovered, which will reach 100% in 2022. Spain lifted the ban on international cruises on June 7, although under strict sanitary measures.
Among others, it is the condition regarding the maximum number of passengers and crew which must not exceed 75% of the capacity, in addition to requiring that all passengers aged 6 and over undergo a PCR or equivalent test within 72 hours prior to boarding or a test rapid antigen the same day. In addition to this, the cruise company must carry out a new test on the third or fourth day of the itinerary for all passengers.
The current cruise season was resumed in the Canary Islands this October with the arrival in the port of Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, of the cruise ship Celebrity Silhouette, which afterward headed towards Tenerife and Las Palmas of Gran Canaria.