Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira, Colombia, hosted its first boutique cruise ship on 11 January 2024, when Emerald Cruises’ Emerald Azzura called at its port with around 40 international passengers.
Local tour company Colombia 57 collaborated with ProColombia and local authorities to create an immersive shore excursion for guests, enabling them to visit a ‘ranchería’ (a small rural settlement of the Wayuu indigenous community) and meet local students to learn Wayuunaki words.
“Committed to the mandate of the national government and President Gustavo Petro to boost tourism in a broader and improved way in various regions of the country, we want international travellers to think of Colombia as a trendy and unique destination with meaningful experiences that will leave them touched forever,” said Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country.
Ports across Colombia expect to host a total of 329,226 passengers during 214 calls from at least 30 cruise lines by the end of the 2023-2024 season, which will likely generate close to $50 million for the economy. This follows a 151 per cent increase in port arrivals and a 346 per cent rise in passenger arrivals between the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons.
“In the government of President Gustavo Petro Urrego, we work for responsible, regenerative and sustainable tourism in our territories,” said Germán Umaña Mendoza, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism in Colombia. “The department of La Guajira is precisely a region with high potential for this activity, since it has landscapes that confirm why Colombia is ‘The Country of Beauty’.”