Venezuela receives first European cruise ship in 15 years

   January 4, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Venezuela on Tuesday, January 3rd, received its first European cruise ship in 15 years.

The country was long avoided by tourists due to high levels of insecurity/economic turmoil. 

The Bahamas-flagged ship Amadea docked at Margarita Island with ~500 passengers from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.

Ali Padron (Venezuela's Tourism Minister) welcomed the historic docking and said that for many years Venezuela had been off the radar of cruise ships. 

Product scarcity, exchange controls, and unreliable basic services like water and electricity have kept foreigners at bay, thus forcing travel agencies to close their doors. 

Venezuela had become a very insecure, high-risk destination, according to Reinaldo Pulido, vice-president of the Conseturismo tourism council, but after years of hyperinflation that plunged Venezuelans into misery, the ravaged economy had recently shown "timid signs of recovery."

The dollarization of the economy/easing of price controls has bolstered imports, resulting in a variety of products on offer/new shops opening.

Margarita Island Venezuela (El Guamache)

For Conseturismo president Leudo Gonzalez, the Amadea's arrival opened the possibility of returning to the radar of the major cruise companies.