Ultra-Luxury Cruise Travels Through the Costa Rican Pacific

    ICT and the port authorities project the arrival of 313 cruise ships including traditional and expedition ships

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    To the surprise and amazement of hundreds of tourists who were enjoying their Sunday rest on the sand of Playa Mantas, the luxury cruise ship Dumont-d’Urville of the French line Ponant arrived with elegance, anchoring its 10,700 tons of weight and showing its modern design 1.5 km from the coast.

    Little by little, around 150 passengers boarded several Zodiac-style inflatable motor boats that would take them from the ship to the beach, where a group of tourist buses with local guides would wait for them, coordinated to take them to unique experiences such as a walk in the Carara National Park, bird watching and an approach to biodiversity, generating productive chains and the spillover of the tourist dollar in different communities.

    This modern ship, -inaugurated in 2019-, began its journey in Puntarenas. In said port, the 118 crew members waited last Saturday for the American expedition tourists, over 55 years of age, who arrived by air last week and carried out activities prior to boarding the ship, among which stood out a “city ​​tour” in San José, a visit to the oxcart factory in Sarchí and a tour to the La Paz waterfalls, in Vara Blanca.

    To complete the experiences on Costa Rican soil and sea, the boat arrived at the port of Quepos this Monday and completed the planned tours, rafting on the Savegre River, canopy and a wildlife observation walk in the Manuel Antonio National Park.

    Expedition and luxury set the trend

    The Dumont-d’Urville cruise is one of the 204 expedition and luxury cruises that are projected at the close of the 2023-2024 season, according to estimates by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and port authorities. Likewise, the arrival of 45,583 passengers is expected to spend several nights in the waters of our country. In recent years Costa Rica has experienced the positioning of numerous expedition and luxury cruise companies, both with base and transit operations.

    65% of the ships that visit Costa Rica this season belong to this category, which represents a significant impact on the economy of port cities and in improving the quality of life of their inhabitants.

    Great potential to generate income for high-end services and experiences

    “At the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, we continue to work jointly with port authorities and other allies to make significant progress in attracting more traditional cruises, as well as expedition and luxury cruises, due to their great potential to generate income for high-end services and experiences they offer their passengers, contributing directly and indirectly to coastal communities, both in the Pacific and the Caribbean,” commented Gustavo Alvarado, Director of Tourism Management at the ICT.

    The luxury of a personalized experience

    The Dumont-d’Urville cruise ship has unique features and 118 crew members, whose mission is to maintain the passenger experience at the highest level with personalized service. To achieve this, it makes available its 92 cabins or suites organized on its 7 decks. In addition, it provides its distinguished passengers with varied services such as 2 restaurants, spa, theater, bars, swimming pool, library, gym, and a hydraulic platform to facilitate access to the sea for water sports such as kayaking and rowing.

    During the year, this luxurious French ship has 4 visits scheduled (one in January, three in February and one in March) that include a tour of Costa Rica and Panama. Later, in the following months, it will visit the Caribbean and continue with other itineraries in Europe. In addition, it belongs to a new generation of ships with innovative equipment designed to respect the environment, minimizing emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur and CO² and usually carries scientific research teams and supports the creation of Marine Protected Areas.

    Leading international ecotourism and ecology

    For cruise captain RégisDausesnil, the connection with Costa Rica began almost 30 years ago on his first visit and highlighted the country’s efforts to conserve biodiversity, something its passengers appreciate. “Pura Vida summarizes the concept of being in harmony with nature and is the ecotourism that we have deeply loved for many years. They gave us that meaning in the past and helped us understand it. Costa Rica continues to lead international ecotourism and ecology. Furthermore, I could tell our guests and passengers how more and more this makes sense and how we understood it with them” he concluded.

    According to Allan Lucas, agent of the Interoceanic Maritime Authority and in charge of coordinating operations with the Ponant cruise line, “the potential of expedition and luxury cruises is enormous, because their passengers stay in the country for several days and travel, generating productive chains throughout several ports and plants on both coasts of our country.

    Many expedition cruises

    According to ICT data, during this season the presence of other expedition cruises stands out, such as the SH DIANA (IC), from the Swan Helenic Expeditions cruise chain and the Ocean Discoverer from the American Queen Voyages chain, visiting the Costa Rican Pacific and carrying out tours in GolfoDulce, Puerto Jiménez, Golfito, Quepos, Herradura, Puntarenas and Islas del Golfo Nicoya and some beaches in Guanacaste such as Playa Panamá, Flamingo and Junquillal. SH DIANA is an expedition cruise, which is specialized in polar voyages and on this occasion will be taking a voyage of discovery from the mangrove forests of Guatemala to the beaches of Costa Rica, experiencing the diversity of cultures, landscapes and wildlife along along the Pacific coast.

    For its part, the Ocean Discoverer is an expedition cruise that uses the latest naval technology and focuses on exploring trips with an expert team of marine biologists, scientists and naturalists.

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