Brazilian cruise ships set to return to action

cruises tourism action
Cruise ship docked in the Port of Santos. Photo: Stefan Lambauer/Shutterstock

Cruise liner association Clia said cruises will resume work along the Brazilian coast as of March 5, as the country’s pandemic scenario improves. The season will kick off with 19 routes in the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Santa Catarina.

The season started in November but was suspended in January, as Omicron cases spiraled out of control. The suspension dashed the sector’s expectations of hosting 360,000 passengers, generating 24,000 jobs and making BRL 1.7 billion (USD 336.8 million) in revenue. According to the National Confederation of Commerce, the tourism industry lost BRL 463 billion in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

Clia says roughly 1,100 of the 130,000 tourists and crew members on cruise ships between November and January tested positive for the coronavirus. In previous waves, ships became floating Covid hotbeds.

According to researchers from the University of São Paulo, the country’s Covid transmission rate is down from 2.1 on February 5 to 0.78 — meaning that the spread is slowing down. A rate of 0.78 suggests that every 100 infected individuals would be expected to pass the virus on to 78 more, who would then infect another 60.