The cruise line reported that Horizon, the ship operating in Panama with a capacity for 1,828 passengers, will be utilized in other routes; that is the reason why it trimmed its departures from Panama. According to Ernesto Orillac, Deputy Minister of the Tourism Authority of Panama, another agreement will not be signed with the cruise line, at the moment, regarding the season departure extension from Panama. Currently, both parties have a promotional agreement running, which establishes that each of them has to contribute with $100,000 USD. “We do not rule out the option of signing a new agreement, as Pullmantur will have a ship operating in the country for 12 months,” Orillac stated.
During the first nine months of the year, 227,371 cruise ship passengers arrived in Panama, which represents a 17 percent increment compared to the same time period last year. Today, both Pullmantur and Royal Caribbean are the two cruise ship lines that utilize Panama as a homeport. Orillac indicated that the decision made by the Spanish Pullmantur Cruise Line will effectively help to attract more cruise ship line companies to Panama, as this decision will reinforce Panama’s image as a homeport. Although the companies’ names were not revealed, Orillac announced that the Tourism Authority is currently negotiating with two cruise ship line companies that are interested in departing from Panama.