Costa Rica is Reopening With Nine Cruise Lines Set to Return

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Costa Rica has always been a popular spot for those that enjoy taking a cruise. Soon, guests will enjoy the wildlife, beaches, and jungles of the country once again. Costa Rica will be opening to cruise ships again in September of this year, although this will be under strict health requirements.

So far, nine cruise lines have included ports in their itineraries in the country, with which the country is taking a massive step for Costa Rica’s tourism industry and the reactivation of local economies in its coastal communities.

Costa Rica To Open For Cruise Ships September 1

Costa Rica will be opening to cruise ship tourism from September 1, 2021. The country hopes to stimulate the ailing tourism industry, which has seen a sharp decline in visitors over the last 1,5 years. Opening up for tourists will stimulate tourism and provide employment to thousands of people who have traditionally worked in the industry in places like Limón, Puntarenas, Caldera, Quepos, and Golfito.

Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism:

“The resumption of this tourist activity will benefit the ports of Limón, Puntarenas, Caldera, Quepos and Golfito. Each passenger spends an average of $137 per day, which has an important impact on the reactivation of local economies in coastal communities,”

Limon Cruise Port, Costa Rica
Limon Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Solarisys /

So far, nine cruise lines have included Costa Rica in their ship’s itineraries; the cruise lines and ships that will visit include Windstar, Lindblad, Sea Cloud, Seabourn Quest, Celebrity Millennium, Carnival Pride, Crown Princess, Diamond Princess, and Seven Seas Mariner. Five vessels will sail to Limón, while other vessels will be visiting ports on the Pacific side of the country.

Costa Rica has always been a popular spot for cruise lines to sail to. During the 2019-2020 season, 239,566 cruise ship guests visited the country; 113 cruise ships visited ports in the Pacific, while 84 ships visited the ports in the Caribbean.

Vessel Will Need To Complete Strict Health Requirements

Opening the country for cruise ship passengers is one thing; doing this safely is another thing. Costa Rica was one of the first countries to close down its ports in 2019; however, the country did open up for land-based tourism earlier this year.

In June, the country saw almost 120,000 arrivals at the airports. For cruise ships, the passengers will need to be fully vaccinated before they arrive, though.

The country has told the visiting cruise line that 100% of the crew members on board need to be fully vaccinated and 95% of all guests on board. The full vaccination path will allow guests to enjoy the country by themselves instead of staying in a bubble while visiting.

Puntarenas Cruise Port
Puntarenas Cruise Port (Photo Courtesy: NJF)

Guests will also need to fill in a health declaration 72 hours before arrival. The first cruise ship expected to arrive in the country will be from Windstar Cruises, expected to arrive on September 2; the country will focus on smaller luxury vessels first before larger ships come to the country.

Also Read: 10 Best Eastern Caribbean Cruise Ports You Should Visit

Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism:

“During the first phase of this reopening, most cruise ships will be luxury and accommodate smaller capacities of passengers, such as the Lindbland (National Geographic Expeditions). The first cruise ship to arrive will be the Windstar line on Sept.  2 in Golfito with approximately 150 passengers on board.”

As more and more ships come online almost daily now, and more and more cruise ports are opening, cruise ship tourism is expected to reach normal levels towards the end of the year, and with Costa Rica opening up its borders to cruise ships, guests can look forward to seeing amazing things once again.

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