Maimon, Puerto Plata. The early morning time of 6:00 am was the starting point of the cruise ship industry`s comeback into Puerto Plata, the beautiful Northern town of the Dominican Republic. The Carnival Victory is the first ship to arrive in a series of cruise liners that will follow for years to come, as the $60-million investment by Carnival is strategically positioned to become a major hub for other cruise ship companies. It is expected that about 1.5 million people visit the Northern DR each year after the first 12 months of operation. The first arrivals are a total of 3,854 people, of which 2,754 are passengers and 1,100 people are crew members. Visitors started leaving the ship after 8:00am and the ship will leave to other ports after 4:00pm.
Puerto Plata has a lot to offer including its beach towns of Sosua, Cabarete, Cofresi and Costambar. The first visitors were greeted by local heads of tourism, police, city mayors and other important VIPs. An orchestra of native Merengue music, also called “Perico Ripiao” was in place along with locals in costumes; a folklore ballet; also singers from the Ministry of Tourism, handcrafts sales and gift shops. Puerto Plata has it all in place to come back as a major cruise ship destination, and the efforts are being supported by the local government. The Dominican Republic has other important ports, and between January and August the island received 239 ships in 5 ports, with a total of 302,198 passengers, between private yachts and cruises ships, according to data from its Central Bank.
The local economy is expected to get a boost in PR and income from this new port, and there are hotels and villa rentals in Sosua and Cabarete that will most probably benefit in the short and mid term. Real estate is in high demand in the area, due to its beautiful pristine beaches and diversity of amenities. This is a Victory to Puerto Plata, a city that started tourism in the 1980`s and set the DR in the map for this glorious industry.