Royal Caribbean has not only withdrawn its brands from Brazil for the coming cruise season, but also closed all its offices in the country.
Throughout the entire 2016-2017 season, only Celebrity Infinity of group’s Celebrity brand is scheduled to call at Rio de Janeiro for the Carnival in February. No other Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) ship will be present in Brazil during this time. Having also closed its offices in Brazil, the local agent R11 Travel will handle all the sales on behalf of the group.
In recent years, because of the challenging market conditions in Brazil, the annual passenger numbers have fallen from above 900,000 to only about 300,000 (2016-2017).
Besides the drastic decline in demand, weak infrastructure, high taxes, economic and political uncertainties are among other reasons for the RCCL move. The absence of RCCL brands in Brazil will have a devastating effect on the ocean cruising market.
Other major cruise lines, such as Costa Crociere, have already reduced their exposure to the region.