After Quake, Cruise Tourism in Puerto Rico Continues Unaffected

Musicians greet cruise passengers in Old San Juan, January 8 (Puerto Rico Tourism Company)

Published Jan 9, 2020 10:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Cruise tourism continues in full swing in Puerto Rico's main port of San Juan, according to local officials, despite the earthquake that interrupted electrical power service and caused damage on the opposite side of the island on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, nearly 15,000 cruise passengers arrived at the Old San Juan cruise port, disembarking from Carnival Breeze, Oasis of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company planned a greeting for them with music in the city's streets.

“Today we received Carnival Cruise passengers with the warmth of our people and local music. We continue to showcase Puerto Rico’s beauty to thousands of tourists visiting this season. Our thoughts are with those affected by seismic activity in the south of Puerto Rico," said Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. "This has been an excellent opportunity to support the message abroad that Puerto Rico is open for business and that the seismic events of the past days should not alter the plans of those who have included the island in their travel itineraries."

While the cruise tourists were in port, electrical power was restored in San Juan, ending a disruption caused by the quake. 

Courtesy Discover Puerto Rico

Tourism promotion agency Discover Puerto Rico said in a statement that the majority of damage from the earthquake is centered on the opposite side of the island (above). The epicenter of the quake was just offshore of the town of Ponce, about 50 miles to the southwest of San Juan on Puerto Rico's southern coast. 

According to Discover Puerto Rico, all major hotels are open; all flights are operating normally at the San Juan, Ponce and Aguadilla airports; ferry service to and from Vieques and Culebra is running; and all of San Juan's major attractions are open for business. The agency recommends "travelers drink bottled water as a precautionary measure" due to the potential impact of power outages on the water supply.